A clearing agent suspected to have induced a bribe from a driving permit applicant is detained and will be arraigned in court. The 32-year-old suspect, Gerald Kikamba, detained at the Central Police Station in Kampala, was apprehended on Thursday from Nakawa, a city suburb.
It all started as a 30-year old Akim Bumba, a resident of Mutungo in Kampala applied for a learner’s driving permit from Face Technologies and paid the official stamp fee of sh30,000, but was told that the issuance would delay and advised to instead pay sh50,000 for an express one. Face Technologies was contracted by the works ministry to design, print and issue computerized driving permits.
The company operates and maintains permits on behalf of the Government. When Bumba received such advice, the suspect, Kikamba, intercepted him and asked if he was in agreement to pay the sh50,000 and the permit would be issued later in the evening at a playground near the Inspection of Vehicles Unit at Naguru in Kampala.
Bumba agreed to pay the money, but alerted the State House Anti Corruption Unit, led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema. The unit received, registered Bumba’s complaint and gave him marked 20,000 notes that could easily be identified in the operation. Bumba paid the money and indeed his driving permit was issued. According to footage from the State House unit, similar transactions of this nature took place from a Toyota Vitz UBE 273K at the playground between 3:00pm to 5:00pm as the undercover team was at the site. After the payment, the State House team arrested him.
The operation was jointly conducted by the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Kampala Metropolitan Police Jonathan Olal, Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, Moses Kafeero and detective Aloysius Mpirirwe, among others. Nakalema said at the time of Kikamba’s arrest, he was found with one marked note of sh20,000 which indicated that the suspect that had already shared the bribe with somebody else.
“We have done our part and the suspect is in Police custody. We are expecting the Police to follow up the matter and make investigations to find out whether there are more suspects working with Face Technologies and the Inspection of Vehicles Unit involved in this bribery,” Nakalema said.
The Inspection of Vehicles is a unit under the Directorate of Traffic Police and Road Safety headed by Dr Steven Kasiima.
“No matter the amount involved, as long as you are corrupt, we shall come for you. I call upon the public to report to us any case of corruption,” Nakalema said.
She said the unit had received several complaints about petty bribes against traffic police officers. President Yoweri Museveni in December last year, launched the anti-corruption unit, which receives complaints from the public on alleged corruption, misuse of public offices and makes follow ups on the cases.
The unit, which reports to the President, works closely with the Inspectorate of Government and other government anti-corruption agencies. The unit recently stormed Wakiso district land office over alleged fraud in land transaction, involving mainly the districts around Kampala.