Mbarara – Two officials from Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) have been remanded for allegedly soliciting and receiving a bribe of UGX3 million from Mukamanayamba factory, the manufacturer of Mukamanayamba energy drink.
Shaka Vitalis an inspector and Norman Mwamula Methwellah, a surveillance officer, all employed attached to UNBS Mbarara regional office were today Thursday arraigned before the Anti-Corruption court on two charges of corruption. The duo appeared before Grade one magistrate Moses Nabende.
Court heard that on August 6, 2020, the two officials while at Mukamanayamba factory, Kibutama branch in Kabwohe in Sheema district, directly solicited and obtained a bribe of Shs 3 million from the factory branch manager.
This was allegedly done in exchange for the officials to write a favourable report about the factory and not to close it after they had inspected it and found that its hygiene was wanting.
But the accused denied the charges and attempted to apply for bail. However, the trial magistrate Nabende couldn’t entertain their application as he said he wanted to first take his children to school and time had no time.
As a result, Nabende remanded them until October 23 when they will return to court. The state attorney Miriam Acio told court that investigations were complete. According to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson, Charles Twine, the accused were arrested on the third time after they’d come to the factory to solicit for another bribe.
They allegedly first visited the same factory in July 2020 when found the factory’s hygiene wanting and told the manager to give them Shs 10 million for them to give him a grace period of three weeks to clean up the factory properly before they write a report that would lead to its closure.
But the factory officials reportedly negotiated and they were given Shs 6 million. They came back to solicit for another bribe and on the third attempt, the director of the factory, Samuel Byaruhanga complained to police.
As a result, detectives attached to CID together with State House Anti Corruption Unit and the factory officials got Shs 3 million marked it and when the UNBS officials came to solicit for another bribe, it was given to them.
Twine added that when the UNBS officials were getting out of the factory, they were arrested and found with the monies they had used as a trap for them.