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UNBS staff remanded over Mukamanayamba bribe

By John Michael Odeng

Added 19th October 2020 12:02 PM

Prosecution alleges that they solicited a sh3m bribe in exchange writing a favourable report about the factory

UNBS staff remanded over Mukamanayamba bribe

UNBS employees Norman Mwamula and Shaka Vitalis arrive at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo. Photo by Jimmy Outa

Prosecution alleges that they solicited a sh3m bribe in exchange writing a favourable report about the factory

Two Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) officials have been remanded to Kitalya Prison over allegedly receiving sh3m from makers of an energy booster drink-Mukamanayamba.

The accused, attached to UNBS Mbarara Regional Office, allegedly received the money to okay the quality of the energy drink during an inspection at the factory's base in Kabwohe, Sheema district.

Vitalis Shaka, 39, the UNBS inspector, and Norman Mwamula Methwellah, 33, the surveillance officer, appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo, a Kampala suburb, and denied corruption charges.

Shaka is a resident of Entebbe Abaita-Babiri village, Wakiso district while Mwamula is from Go-down III Cell, Naguru Ward, Nakawa Division, Kampala District.

According to the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009, a person convicted of corruption is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or sh4.8m fine or both.

Grade One Magistrate, Moses Nabende declined to hear the accused's bail application, saying he had pending cases to preside over through video conferencing at High Court in Kampala.  

"I, therefore, adjourn the case to Friday because I will be attending workshops in the rest of the days," he said.

Subsequently, the accused were remanded until October 23, when the magistrate will hear their bail applications.

State Attorney Marion Aciro from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) informed the court that investigations are incomplete.

"I request that you adjourn the case to another date to allow police complete investigations in the matter," she requested.

Prosecution alleges that the accused on August 6, 2020, at Mukamanayamba factory, Kibutamo branch in Sheema district solicited and received a gratification of sh3m from the branch manager in exchange for them to write a favourable report about the factory and not to close it.

How the suspects were arrested

Speaking to journalists shortly after court proceedings, the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) spokesperson Charles Mansio revealed that the duo first took a bribe of sh6m on July 29, 2020 and created a situation of demanding more money.

Mansio, however, said on the fateful day, the duo went to the factory's base purporting to inspect it but before issuing a certificate, they solicited for sh3m bribe.

"The manager was not happy and he worked with police officers. A trap was laid and the duo unfortunately succumbed to it by receiving sh3m that had been marked. They were intercepted at the gate as they were driving away," he narrates.

According to Mansio, the accused allegedly faulted the factory management over poor hygiene but instead of taking an action or advising them, they decided to extort money, which he said is a bad practice.

The CID spokesperson thanked the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU), headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema for coordinating with Police to ensure the suspects are apprehended and prosecuted in the courts of law.

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