Anti corruption coalition urges parliament to discuss audit reports

By Deo Wasswa

The anti corruption coalition Uganda has expressed concern over the delay by parliament to effectively discuss audits reports made by office of the auditor general warning that this promotes impunity and corrupt tendencies by government officials.

ACCU Executive director, Cissy Kagaba says from 2017 to date only 18 out of the 97 audit reports have been handled by the parliament.

Speaking during the validation of a report on selected implementation of value for money audit meeting at hotel Africana, Kagaba noted that the parliament should critically look at recommendations from the auditor general to avert worsening service delivery brought by some public official who steal public funds and walk away free.

Employee of land probe sent to jail over corruption

By Sania Babirye
An employee with the commission of inquiry into land matters working as a Statistician   has been  charged of corruption  by the anti corruption court.
Wilfred Nsubuga has appeared before Grade One Magistrate Peter Fred Lachomin and pleaded not guilty to three counts of  Abuse of  Office, Corruption and unauthorized Disclosure of Information contrary to  the Computer Misuse Act.
According to prosecution,  between February and July this 2018 ,  Nsubuga while in performance of his duties at the Land Probe Commission where he is charged with developing and managing the complaints Data Base, in abuse of his authority disclosed confidential information on  two file numbers registered at the Commission,  with the aim of helping the complainants to have their files expeditiously resolved in their favour, by the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters.
He has been remanded to luzira prison until the 26th of this week as investigations into the case continues according to a prosecutor from the IGGs office Thomas Okoth.

Anti corruption coalition warns on over spending

By  Deo Wasswa

Anti corruption coalition Uganda says  president Museveni’s directive to ministry of finance to procure armored vehicles for Members of  Parliament is an abuse of taxpayer’s money.

Addressing a press conference, Cissy Kagaba, the executive director of the coalition noted that the Ugandan tax payer is already burdened by the fat allowances for MPs including basic pay, constituency facilitation, sitting allowances, social security among others .

The coalition is therefore calling upon the president to rescind this directive since it is discriminatory in nature against all Ugandans.
If the ministry of finance implement the president’s directive, a total of Uganda shillings 228b will be needed.

Mulyagonja new anti corruption unit is welcome to investigate corrution

The inspector general of the government Irene Mulyagonja says if there is any authority that can verify the wealth and assets of former director supervision at the central bank, Justine Bagyenda, she welcomes it.

Mulyagonja says, this will vindicate her from public accusations that she has failed to investigate her friend Bagyenda.

‘’We shall gladly handover the declarations so that, that authority handles the verification so that the public stops accusing me of being friends, I don’t know where they trace me being friend to Bagyenda, but as far as I know, I came to know Justine Bagyenda as director supervision at the central bank two years back.’’ IGG noted.

According to her, she also welcomes the proposed new anti corruption unit due to be set up in the office of the president.  ‘’ I want to see whether because of this unit, people will stop coming to the office IGG to raise complaints”, she added.  

Mulyagonja said that if the president wants to have this unit  for those special cases of corruption where people will be more interested in reporting to the office the president, she is not averse  that process

During the state on national address on Wednesday 6th, President Museveni, announced his intentions to create a new anti corruption unit to assist in fighting corruption

The unit will comprise of three people namely, Former Uganda national teacher’s Union general secretary James Tweheyo, Ms. Martha Assimwe and sister Akiror.

Court acquits Dr. Kaggwa of corruption

By Sania Babirye
The anti corruption court has this afternoon acquitted  Dr David Kaggwa, of  charges of Corruption and Abuse of Office.
 Dr Kaggwa a Consultant on Ebola disease attached to  Kabarole Regional Referral Hospital was freed on grounds that prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence to prove the charges.
 In 2013,  Dr. Kaggwa was accused of  receiving 580,000shs using government facilities to treat private patients while he was still working  in Kagadi Hospital in Kibaale district.
 Prosecution  alleged that between January and June 2013, Dr Kaggwa while at Kagadi Hospital in Kibaale District, used the hospital facilities to carry out surgeries on his private patients for personal gain to the disadvantage of his employer, which amounted to Abuse of Office.
Anticorruption court Grade One Magistrate Lochomin Peter Fred noted that from the evidence on record, the circumstances under which he was carrying out the alleged services was voluntary, as Kagadi at the time did not have Doctors, and he would come in on emergencies.
He has now set free  Dr. Kaggwa and ordered court to refund his  2 million shillings he had deposited for bail on top of returning any Dr. Kaggwa’s Clinic items that were confiscated and used as exhibits in this case.
 He was arrested in 2015 a year after being part of a medical team that went to Liberia to offer expatriate services in July/2014 following the most deadly Ebola outbreak.

Byandala has a case to answer says Anti-corruption court

By Sania Babirye

Anti corruption court Justice Lawrence Gidudu has ruled that the former works minister Abraham Byandala and his six  co accused have a case to answer in the Mukono- Katosi road saga in which government lost over 24.7 billion shillings in shoddy upgrade work.

According to  Justice Gidudu, the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja proved a pr-mafacie case against the accused after presenting 23 witness.

Justice Gidudu has explained that Byandala and others authored documents and that they must individually explain why the authored them,  including the now minister without portfolio explaining to the tax payers why he did not take due diligence before signing off the  contract to a fake company costing the nation billions of shillings.

The IGG thorough her attorney Sarah Birungi charged Byandala  with Abuse of office , causing government a financial loss and disobedience of  her orders to stop the works on the Mukono-katosi -Nyenga road.

She accuses the former works Minister to have defied the order and instead influenced  the procurement process  and proceeded  to sign  the contract to an incompetent company  ETAW.

In his written submission, Byandala had claimed that he had the mandate  to give policy directives as a minister however Justice Gidudu has ruled that Byandala must explain whether  in his policy directive, it involved  directing UNRA to sign a contract to a ghost company.

Byandala’s co accused include the former Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) officials Berunado Ssebbugga, Joe Ssemugooma, Wilberforce Senjako and Marvin Baryaruha.

These are  charged with Abuse of office and negligence of their official duties resulting into the loss and must explain to whom they paid the  money to construct the road since EUTAW has never been seen at the site .

Others include  city businessman Apolo Senkeeto who has been ordered to defend himself against  allegations of theft and obtaining the contentious 24.7 billion  shillings  by falsely representing himself as the president of ETAW -Uganda, the ghost   company.

The last suspect is Isaac Mugote of   Housing Finance Bank who has been ordered to explain why he failed to verify the securities presented by ETAW before releasing out the money which  securities would have been a fall back position to government after investigations revealed that the company is non-existent.

However Byandala and his co accused maintained their innocence and had asked court to find a case of no answer against them on grounds that prosecution had not adduced  sufficient evidence to warrant their defense .

The accused are facing  24 counts of abuse of office,disobedience of lawful orders,influence and peddling,obtaining money by false pretense and embezzlement among others.

According to the IGG,on the 14th of  November  2013  Byandala ordered the signing of a contract between UNRA and Etawu, a construction company before due date for construction and upgrading of the road leading to the loss of  24.7  billion shillings to a company that was not qualified.

Kihika expected in Court today

By Sania Babirye

Former UBC managing Director Paul Kihika is today expected to appear before Nakawa magistrate court for  his second bail application.

Last week grade one Magistrate Christine Nantege remanded him back to Luzira prison despite being granted bail by anti corruption court because the magistrate court charged him with giving false information to police.

He  pleaded not guilty to one count of giving false information and was denied bail because he did not have substantial sureties

Prosecution  States that Kihika  allegedly reported a case of theft  of  his mobile phone at Jinja road police station while falsely accusing the head of media crimes in police Emmanuel Mbonimpa to have stolen it;  yet later it was revealed that the officer had just confiscated this phone for purposes of investigations.

Kihika is currently being tried by the anti corruption court for  embezzlement and causing a 33.6 million  shillings loss to UBC in facilitating  a non-existent official trip to China.

Traffic officer arrested over viral bribe video

Fred Edwaru, a senior traffic police officer attached to Kole Central Police Station in the North Kyoga Region is in trouble for bribery. Edwaru was picked up over the weekend on the directives of Dr. Steven Kasiima, the Director Traffic and Road Safety in Uganda Police Force.
Trouble for Edwaru started after he was captured in a video, which went viral on social media receiving a bribe from a truck driver along Lira – Kamdini highway. In the video, the officer is seen engaging the truck driver, before he handed him money, which he tucked away into his pockets and allowed him to proceed with his journey.
The video is believed to have been taken by a traveler who was watching the interaction between the officer and truck driver from a distance. In a statement, Dr. Kasiima, says Edwaru will appear before the Police Disciplinary Committee to answer for his action.
He commends the public for their vigilance on traffic police officers who extort money from road users, adding that the public vigilance has greatly supplemented the efforts of the traffic alert squad that was established in November 2014 to address such cases.
He discloses that about 700 traffic officers have been arrested and sanctioned since the inception of the Traffic Alert Squad. Dr. Kasiima encourages road users to continue exposing such vice so that appropriate action is taken.
-URN

 

Court sets date for Hearing of Kabafunzanki trial

By Sania Babirye

High court judge Margret Tibulya has been assigned to hear the corruption case against  State Minister for labor  Herbert Kabafunzaki and two others.

These are charged with two counts of  conspiring to solicit for a 15 million bribe from the Proprietor of Aya group of companies Mohammad Hamid.

On the 28th of June Anti corruption court chief magistrate Agnes Alum committed Kabafuzanki  alongside his political aid Mugabo Brian and a relative Lubowa Bruce for trial in the high court.

This is after state prosecutor Barbara Kawuma informed court that the DPP had opted  for the the three to be tried by a judge saying a judge was in better position to try the case due  due to the circumustances of how  the  case was commited and the people involved it.

Anti corruption court Deputy Registrar Susan Kanyange has set the 18th of July as the date when hearing of the case will commence and ordered Kabafunzaki
together and his co accused  to appear in court for trial

Prosecution states  that between the 6th and the 8th April 20217 at Serena Hotel in Kampala district,  Kabafunzaki directly solicited and accepted  a 5 million shillings Bribe from an Indian Investor Muhammed Muhammed Hamid,  the chairman Aya group of companies as an inducument to clear him of sexual harrasment allegations levied against him by his former employee.

Some of the evidence that the DPP intends to adduce before court include a CCTV footage from Serena hotel that shows the interaction where the minister received  the alleged five million bribe in a khaki brown envelope from the Aya  boss and later giving it to his political assistant for counting who  later hid the money behind the curtains when police came to arrest them.

Anti corruption Court convicts Kazinda and three others

By Babirye Sania

Anti corruption Judge Lawrence  Gidudu has convicted the   former Principle Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Kazinda and 3 others of  fraud and causing  government a 316 billion loss  in fueling  non existence vehicles under  the  office  of the  prime minister in 2010.

Kazinda has been found guilty  alongside the service stations manager Total Ntinda Katumwa Hussein, Beatrice Kezabu the former  clerk  in the OPM office  and Shamim Madembe who owns the  petrol  station.

These were facing  5counts including Conspiracy to defraud, Embezzlement, fraudulent false accounting, forgery and uttering false documents.

Justice Gidudu found Beatrice Kezabu guilty  of forgery and false accounting together with her co accused.

The judge has however expressed dismay to why  commissioner Martin Owol who was Kezabu’s boss despite admitting of having erred was never charged  but instead brought in as a prosecution  witnesses.

According to Prosecution the money in question was meant to buy 5,000 liters of fuel for vehicles transporting relief food to disaster victims, in various districts, in  2010 but that Kazinda and Kezaabu allegedly made false entries claiming that Total Ntinda Service Station had supplied fuel to the Prime Minister’s Office whereas not.

In June/2013 Kazinda was first convicted by the same court of forging then Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana’s signature and sentenced to 5years which he completed in November 2016 but is still in Luzira prison because of these pending cases.