Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) procurement officer, Tom Kimera, has been arrested on orders of the Parliament Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
Kimera was arrested Wednesday after failing to account for Shs12billion allegedly spent in the procurement of the recently acquired trains.
URC said it spent Shs48billion for the four locomotives shipped into the country in September which is different from Shs36billion it paid.
The inconsistencies prompted the COSASE chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi to order for Kimera’s immediate arrest.
“The recommendations in procurement reports indicate that locomotives meant to be bought were six years old at a total price of Shs36billion but then that recommendation was not followed,” Ssenyonyi said.
COSASE discovered that URC officials procured 8 year-old locomotives at Shs48billion, contrary to what the procurement process provided for in the loan request submitted to Parliament.
“They ended up buying locomotives which are way older, but also more expensive coming to a total of Shs48billion. There is a problem with that. Something that is older is supposed to be cheaper. But actually what is older is more expensive by Shs12billion,” Ssenyonyi said.
The URC officials told Parliament that the government is now fixing the curves and turning points at various intervals so that the 8 year-old locomotives can be fully used.
URC jetted into South African experts to train URC staff on how to operate the trains.