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Police quiz Makerere officials over sh2b wall

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th July 2009 03:00 AM

Two senior Makerere officials were yesterday interrogated by officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over the sh2b university fence which collapsed before it was completed.

By Mary Karugaba

Two senior Makerere officials were yesterday interrogated by officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over the sh2b university fence which collapsed before it was completed.

Deputy vice-chancellor David Bakibinga and secretary Sam Akorimo were handed over to the Police fraud squad at Parliament after presenting what MPs described as contradictory and false reports on the collapsed wall.

In 2006, Makerere University contracted Compliant Engineering & Trade to construct a perimeter wall at a cost of sh619m.

The cost was later increased to sh2b. But when construction was still going on, a section of the wall collapsed and the project was suspended.

Appearing before the public accounts committee, the secretary said Bakibinga should not be held responsible since the university council and an internal probe had exonerated him.

Akorimo said the university had already taken action against the officers implicated in the report. These include estates manager Addyson Mpango, senior technician Andrew Serunjoji and freelance builder Wilson Mukisa.

The findings contradict another report by PPDA which demanded that Bakibinga takes full responsibility for the work since he was the overall supervisor. It also recommended that he be disciplined by the university council.

Bakibinga rubbished the PPDA report, saying it failed to examine the relevant laws and regulations governing the functions and reporting procedures of university officials.

He, instead, blamed the estates manager for changing the design without consulting the management, which he said had led to the collapse.

He stressed he was not responsible for the collapse because his work stopped at overseeing and monitoring.

The MPs argued that the internal probe by Technology Consult could not be relied on since it had conflicting dates.

According to the documents, the team was commissioned on October 25, 2007 but started work on October 2, 2007.

It was also discovered that the company was owned by four Makerere engineers and was housed by the university.

In addition, the members found that the company pays the University Council 10% interest on every transaction made.

MPs Saleh Kamba, Oduman Okello, Rebecca Atengu and Tom Kazibwe rejected the internal probe, saying Bakibinga, as a member of the University Council, was likely to have influenced the outcome.

“I move a motion that this report be thrown out because its results were influenced. They also have different dates,” Kamba said.

“To be fair, Parliament cannot rely on the recommendations of this report. As members have argued, there is a problem with this report. CID, take over the matter and let the officers record a statement,” chairman Nandala Mafabi said after hours of arguing.

Bakibinga and Akorimo were then led to the Parliament’s CID office for questioning.

Police quiz Makerere officials over sh2b wall

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