Business man Karim Hirj last week confirmed that the 262 million shillings given to him by President to purchase a transformer during the 2007 Common Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) was a gift.
Karim told this to a team of four MPs who had been sent by the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) which is chaired by Bugweri County MP, Abdul Katuntu, at Imperial Royale hotel to verify the status of the transformer in question.
President Yoweri Museveni in 2007 before the hosting of CHOGM directed the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to advance the money to Karim’s Hotel Imperial Royal to buy a transformer so as to light up the hotel that was among those identified to host guests.
The auditor general’s report of 2014/15 queried the action stating that it was public money which should be refunded by Karim to REA.
After the fact finding tour by MPs on COSASE on whether the transformer bought was still functioning at Imperial Royal Hotel, Karim informed MPs that he even has a letter that states that the transformer was a donation.
However, Katuntu insisted that anyone who used public money whether in a form of donation or grant, he or she has to pay back thus summoning Karim to appear before the committee on Thursday this week.