Soroti Universirty: Igg Probes Contracts Head

Soroti universirty: igg probes contracts head
Appeared in The Daily Monitoron 04 Sep 2019

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) is probing the deputy vice chancellor of Soroti University over claims that he demanded a bribe from the managing director, Eagle Elevators Limited, to have his payments processed.

Eagle Elevators Limited was awarded a tender by Soroti University in 2018 to install two lifts on a new complex at the university.

Mr Michael Opalet, the managing director of Eagle Elevators Limited, in a July 16 letter, filed a complaint to IGG, accusing Soroti University deputy vice chancellor Lawrence Too-Okema of demanding and taking a bribe of Shs5m to have his payments processed or allow him finish the works.

Mr Too-Okema is also the chairperson of Contracts Committee at the same university.

Mr Opalet claims that Mr Too-Okema demanded Shs5m but received down payment of Shs2m, which Mr Opalet says he deposited to the bank account of the Contracts Committee chairperson in Centenary Bank.

The complainant in his letter to IGG, states that he did work according to specifications given, “however, the company advised the university to upgrade a voltage stabiliser from 30KVA to 45KVA but management of the university did not take the advice and insisted on us installing 30KVA stabiliser.”

“Management now realises that 30KVA cannot sustain the two lifts and thus contacted us to supply a new voltage stabiliser at cost minus what we used to buy 30KVA stabiliser, which was bought at Shs56,000, 000,” Mr Opalet said.

He said: “When I insisted that I would not suffer loss because I had earlier on advised them, the chairperson contracts committee, Mr Lawrence Too-Okema is now demanding for a bribe in order to have my company awarded a contract of installing the new 45KVA voltage stabiliser at a total cost of Shs85,245,000.”

“Mr Okema first requested for a deposit of Shs2,000,000 and gave me his account number with Centenary Bank in his own handwriting, a copy of which I have. This is, therefore, to ask your office to intervene,” he said.

Ms Munira Ali, the IGG spokesperson, said they were investigating the matter but no conclusions had been reached.

Mr Too-Okema denied the allegations.

“I have never solicited any money from any person and I will never solicit a bribe,” he said. He added that the complainant is not honest to himself.

“We went for a trip to China with him and he did not honour his obligation to pay us,” he added.

Mr Too-Okema said the money that he requested from Mr Opalet was not a bribe.

“If I gave you additional information about that letter you will be surprised about its contents. He failed to pay us and now he is turning around. In any case, I refunded the money he paid me,” he said.

IGG RESPONDS

Ms Munira Ali, the IGG spokesperson, said they are investigating the matter but no conclusions have been reached.