OPM officials ask to relieved of the relief food charges

By Sania Babirye

Lawyers representing four officials from the office of the prime minister led by the permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu who are charged with inflating relief food prices meant for vulnerable people in the ongoing COVID-19 lock down between March and April has asked the anti corruption court to dismiss the said charges and set their clients free.

These led by McDusman Kabega have told grade one magistrate Sarah Namusobya that the said charges should be dismissed because they are not clear.

However, prosecution led by Kawuka James has asked court to not dismiss the said charges maintaining that the said charges are legitimate and clear.

Other suspects include Wanjala Joel, the under Secretary/accounting officer, Owor John, commissioner in charge of relief and disaster preparedness and Lutimba Kyeyune Fred Henry, the assistant commissioner in charge of procurement.

These were granted a three million cash bail each after on the fourth of May after being arrested on the 14th of April and pleaded not guilty to charges of colluding to commit fraudulent actions contrary to rules governing procurement and disposal of public Assets (PPDA Act).

Prosecution states that the above persons in their respective positions between the 31st March and 8th April 2020 at the office of the OPM situated at plot 9-11Apollo Kagwa road in Kampala district colluded together to commit a fraudulent practice during the procurement of food relief for COVID-19 by inflating prices from those by the suppliers.

The suspects were arrested last week by the State House Anti-corruption unit led by col.Edith Nakalema.