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SGS Country Manager Tasked to Expalin Bribery, Tax Evasion Allegations :: Uganda Radionetwork
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SGS Country Manager Tasked to Expalin Bribery, Tax Evasion Allegations

The matters resurfaced this morning when Kanvaly Bamba, the SGS Country Manager appeared before the Physical Infrastructure committee of parliament to discuss the relationship between the company and government agencies, as well as its newly negotiated contract with the Ministry of Works.
SGS Country Manager Kanvaly Bamba (center)

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Accusations of bribery, tax evasion and influence peddling have come back to haunt a swiss based vehicle Inspection firm, SGS as parliament continues an inquiry into the Mandatory Motor Vehicle Inspection program.

The matters resurfaced this morning when Kanvaly Bamba, the SGS Country Manager appeared before the Physical Infrastructure committee of parliament to discuss the relationship between the company and government agencies, as well as its newly negotiated contract with the Ministry of Works.

The committee chaired by Nakifuma county MP Kafeero Sekitoleko is scrutinizing the details of the contract between the government and SGS in order to produce a report that accommodates recommendations of both the minority and main reports. The initial investigation in 2017 flopped after parliament failed to reach consensus on a minority report presented by one of the committee members.

Kasilo county MP Elijah Okupa tasked Kanvaly to explain why Stamp Duty on properties acquired by SGS was not paid as mandated by the law which accusation Kanvaly insisted was false as proven by documents he presented before the committee.

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Kanvaly found himself under uncomfortable scrutiny once again when MPs asked him to confirm allegations of a trip to South Africa awarded by SGS to a Ministry of Works employee as a payoff in facilitating the contract award to SGS.

Okupa read to Kanvaly a letter written by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works Waiswa Bageya to the Solicitor General in July 2020 seeking guidance for the handling of a case against Ronald Amanyire, the Principal Road Safety Officer for unauthorized travel to South Africa financed by SGS.

Amanyire is accused of meeting SGS officials in South Africa leading to the alteration of specifications for mobile equipment as opposed to those approved in the contract. This information, according to the Permanent Secretary is drawn from an IGG report of 2016.

The SGS external counsel Peter Kawuma refuted the allegations against SGS.

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Kanvaly told MPs that the company’s operations in mandatory motor vehicle inspection has been suspended since the parliamentary investigation into the program began in 2017. He, however, noted that in June 2019, SGS was invited to renegotiate the contract with the government to include recommendations by parliament.

Negotiations were concluded and on April  8, 2020, and an addendum to the initial contract was signed with SGS, which obliged to begin operations 20 days after signing, a condition he says has not been honoured.

He noted that the addendum incorporated issues raised by parliament. These include the inclusion of NEMA in monitoring the air quality of vehicle exhaust emissions to ensure compliance with environmental standards, the need for a comprehensive motor vehicle database and the prohibitive cost of vehicle inspection.

Kanvaly has lamented the reduction in inspection fees in the new contract which amount to an average of a 56 per cent reduction which fees are also subject to a concession fee and other taxes like VAT and maintenance costs as well.

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