By Max Patrick Ocaido
The chairperson of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) Mubarak Munyagwa says that he is not so “stupid” to solicit a bribe in public places like restaurants.
Munyagwa, also Kawempe South MP was responding to photos that went viral on Monday showing him in a secret meeting with KCCA acting Executive Director, Eng Andrew Kitaka at a popular hangout in Kampala.
This meeting raises suspicions considering that it was coming at a time when COSASE was investigating the alleged unlawful recruitment of Moses Atwine, the KCCA Physical Planning Director. This probe was climaxed after Eng Kitaka pinned his junior- Atwine before the committee saying that he was erroneously holding the office without proper qualifications. It is from Kitaka’s submission that COSASE recommended that Atwine should be fired despite receiving a nod from the President for his appointment.
While addressing a press conference at his office on Tuesday, Munyagwa has denied soliciting a bribe from Eng Kitaka to influence the committee’s decision to sack Atwine as KCCA director in charge of Physical Planning. However, Munyagwa admits having a cup of tea with Eng Kitaka saying that he “just bumped into him on his way to the gym.”
“I bumped into Kitaka at Silver City Restaurant, Garden City 9 days ago while going to the gym at about 2 pm. It was not a secret meeting as portrayed by media because we were at the balcony,” Munyagwa said.
Munyagwa said that his meeting with Kitaka was premised on the poor drainage system in Kawempe and had nothing to do with soliciting a bribe or whatsoever.
“You can even go to that restaurant and retrieve CCTV footage. I was reminding Kitaka to work on the drainage system in Kawempe. I have always told him to fix it, but he has been dillydallying. KCCA used Shs21m to construct it but each time it rains it still floods and now, I am aware that World Bank released money for its construction. So I was asking him when KCCA would commence works,” he said.
He added that he is not so stupid to start asking for a bribe in an open place despite his natural ‘appetite’ for money adding that Kitaka, unlike former KCCA ED Jennifer Musisi, has no money to offer him.
“I love money as a human being but I don’t trust anyone from KCCA. I can't go to a restaurant and start soliciting a bribe moreover in a place with CCTV cameras. I would have ‘worked’ with Musisi [Jenniffer] because she used to steal a lot of money, but I did not, so how can you claim that Kitaka can bribe me? What does he have?” Munyagwa charged.
Munyagwa vowed to resign as COSASE chair if anybody provided evidence of him attempting to solicit a bribe or any favor from any accounting officer. He blamed KCCA embattled director, Atwine of blackmailing him after his committee recommended that he is fired for lack of academic qualification for the Physical Planning director job.
“It is Atwine who did it. I am sorry to say this but I don’t like all the people who were with Musisi at KCCA. In fact, tomorrow I am going to write to the Public Service Commission to terminate his [Atwine] contract. Someone who did Social Sciences cannot plan for this city. Atwine did not study [Physical and Urban planning,” Munyagwa added.
He alleged that Atwine one time attempted to bribe him with $50,000 through a one Nicholas Twinamasiko to maintain the status quo at KCCA.