Legislators have questioned Rubanda West MP Denis Sabiiti over his alleged personal dealings with vehicle inspection contractor Societe Generle De Surveillance (SGS).
Eng. Denis Sabiiti, the former chairman of the Contracts Management Committee in the Ministry of Works and Transport, appeared before parliament’s physical infrastructure committee to respond to issues raised in a confidential document furnished to the committee by the State Minister for Transport, Aggrey Bagiire.
The minister, while appearing before the committee early this month, gave the committee two documents with one detailing the chronology of events as per his personal investigation into SGS while the other he said was a highly confidential document which he asked the committee to consider.
Sabiiti was also accused of chairing a bidding committee meeting that locked out the participation of other local companies and that he also colluded with Ferdinand Bitanihirwe, former SGS country manager in communication emails.
He however denied the allegations saying that whatever he did was either authorized by the permanent secretary or according to the PPDA regulations.
A leaked confidential document before the committee says Sabiiti was on the SGS payroll for ten months as a consultant being paid 3,000 US Dollars, an amount equivalent to over 10 million Shillings per month.
The details revealed in a one-paper document indicate that this particular deal between SGS and Sabiiti reportedly happened immediately after the signing of the vehicle inspection contract in March 2015, which Sabiiti witnessed having been the chairman of the Contracts Management Committee in the ministry.
It is alleged that Sabiiti remained in close contact with SGS even after resigning his position in the ministry in a bid to join the 2016 parliamentary contest.
Lillian Nakate, parliament’s physical infrastructure committee chairperson, put this allegation to Sabiiti saying that it was in a bid to give in a fair hearing on the matter.
Details of MP Sabiiti’s dealings with SGS were brought to light through a confidential consultancy agreement signed with the firm which is now being probed by Parliament’s physical infrastructure committee.
The consultancy agreement points out Driver’s Licenses, Vehicle Registration, Second Hand Car Imports, Vehicle Homologation, Axle Load Control and other technical assistance, as the particular areas in which SGS needed MP Sabiiti’s knowledge.
“The consultant is retained on a non-exclusive basis to render the services. The services will be substantially rendered in Uganda or such place as the parties shall agree upon from time to time. The consultant shall provide the services for a minimum of 10 (ten) days per month.” reads part of the contract.
The SGS officials confirmed to the parliament’s physical infrastructure committee that they hired the MP as a consultant.
The consultancy agreement was made between SGS Societe Generale De Surveillance, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Switzerland and BDST Investment Limited a company having its registered address at Nakiwogo, Entebbe.
This agreement that names Eng. Sabiiti as the consultant personnel for BDST Investment Limited took effect on July 17, 2015, and was only terminated by SGS on May 17, 2016, after Sabiiti’s election as a Member of Parliament according to Christophe Dubois, the Country Manager SGS Uganda Limited.
SGS’s Code of Integrity and Professional Conduct seen by URN provides that SGS does not contribute funds or resources to any political party, elected official or candidate for public office in any country, and does not support any political campaign.