SIRâ€” Last week had two important events. One, the end of the holy month of Ramadhan; the other, the Ofwono Opondo revelation of four MPs who allegedly solicited for bribes.
Opondo told the committee of Parliament that some district officials informed him on telephone that some of the MPs on the local government committee asked them for kitu kidogo and some favours. The most glaring is that of Lt James Kinobe, MP (Katikamu North), that he asked for sh4m but instead settled for grading a road that passes near his hotel. This allegation can easily be proved by the committee by finding out from the district chairman whether the road in question was in the district programmes this financial year. However, I hear that this particular road is in Luweero Town Council, hence, it is outside the mandate of the district administration. It therefore shouldnâ€™t be nerve-wracking for the committee to decide whether there was influence peddling regarding the Luweero road mentioned by Ofwono or not.
The other hair-raising allegation was that Capt Guma (Ibanda North) solicited for a bribe of sh300m from Asians to work with somebody to reduce the taxes the company owed URA. Guma is reported to have wondered why Ofwono of the same political family had to go public about the information he had as if the ministers who were censored were not of the same political family. The same Guma is being investigated by another committee on allegations that he, together with MP Nandala Mafaabi, a Reform executive member, constituted a committee on national economy which quizzed the Mukwano company. Now two MPs donâ€™t form a quorum for such business; neither do the committees sit on Sundays as alleged by Mukwano that they were called on a Sunday. It is important that Parliament probes these allegations because a few MPs might tarnish the whole institution. It might even be better for independent bodies like the IGG or the CID to do the investigations since MPs might favour their colleagues. In fact I was astonished at MP Salaam Musumbaâ€™s accusations Ofwono on Monitor FMâ€™s Andrew Mwenda Live a day after the Ofwono allegations. She called Ofwono a rumour monger who had failed to substantiate his allegations. You cannot expect justice from such a person who doesnâ€™t know that itâ€™s now the duty of the committee to prove Ofwono wrong or right and since other people have not been queried, itâ€™s premature to call Ofwono a rumour monger. What if some of the people mentioned by Ofwono prove what he told the committee? From press reports, the Asians have vowed to reveal what happened.
Time will tell.
Ofwono revelations: What if they turn out to be true?