By our reporter
A Member of Parliament has accused Budadiri West Constituency MP Nandala Mafabi for being paid by Chinese Company ZTE to use his influence in Parliament to block the ongoing procurement process of the national backbone infrastructure project.
The legislator who prefers anonymity for now, says Mr Mafabi was asked by Chinese telecom company ZTE, one of the bidders for contract under the National Information Technology Authority (NITA) Uganda, to delay and disrupt the ongoing World Bank funded internet project.
The World Bank funded internet connectivity project in contention is known as the Missing Links project, which is part of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-government Infrastructure (NBI/EGI) project by the Government of Uganda through NITA-U.
The Missing Links project will add more links to the Government backbone network (NBI/EGI) and to further ease operations and have more services go online, including application for passports, Driver’s license, National ID and etc., to increase the efficiency of service delivery and finally integrate our markets with International markets.
Mr Nandala last week appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on ICT and accused Nita-U officials of taking bribes to give the bid to another Chinese company, Huawei.
The legislator says the statement of Mr Nandala before the committee left MPs wondering why he did not give the committee anything to prove his allegations.
The concerned MP adds that it is not the first time Mr Nandala is being used by different people to fight personal or business wars using Parliament.
He said Nandala Mafabi has a history of dealings with ZTE, one of the six bidders for the Missing Links project, which the MP says is facilitating the ongoing lobbying to halt the procurement of Missing Links.The MP says Mafabi is the landlord of Chinese companies in his luxurious buildings in a Kampala and they havesponsored him for several trips to China.
The legislator also pointed out issues raised by one of the officials of the opposition’s Forum for Democratic Change who accused Mafabi of corruption recently in a leaked whatsapp chat.
“Mafabi should be thoroughly investigated to establish his motive in this NITA-U project,” the unhappy MP stated, adding, “Otherwise he will continue abusing parliament for personal gain.”
Recently, Mr Nandala was accused of taking bribes during his tenure as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairperson from 2006 to 2011 by a one Hamidah Nassimbwa, a member of FDC’s Women’s league. In a leaked WhatsApp chat between the two enemies, Nassimbwa accused Mafabi of taking bribes adding that he robbed more than the PAC culprits.
She further alleges that the bribes Mafabi used to take, he used them to put up mega structures, one of which the Chinese company rents in Naguru, an upscale suburb of Kampala.
Last week NITA-U Executive Director James Saaka told Parliament that a bidding document was issued on August 14, 2017 and bids received November 7, 2017.
“The evaluation is still going on and the successful bidder has not yet been awarded,” said Mr Saaka adding that the bidding document was developed by internal expertise resident in NITA-U that has managed the national backbone since 2007.