MP Baryeku mentioned in fraudulent land transaction case

By Sania Babirye

As efforts to uncover the mess into the fraudulent land transaction on plot 24 Kyabazinga way in Nalufenya in jinja district continues, the acting commissioner for lands registration has asked the ongoing land probe commission for more time to solve the discovered mess.

The contentious land called Tirupati land was fraudulently sold by the Jinja land board to businessman Thurmmar Jay Magnalal Patel to build a shopping mall at 7.5 billion while the Jinja municipal council had released the same land to Tirupati development for construction of a public recreation center.

While appearing before the commission, Robert Opiyo has asked justice Catherine Bamugemereire heading the seven member commission of inquiry into land matters to give him up to tomorrow to put into place measures of cancelling of the freehold title acquired for the said land to Jinja municipal council.

The commission had learnt from the jinja land board chairperson Ndiko Ngobi that some member of the Jinja district land board received a bribe and connived and fraudulently transferred the land ownership to Magnalal concluding that the said land transfer was illegal.

She also informed the commission that she declined a 50 million bribe to engage in the said fraudulent land transfer.

Other persons implicated in the said bribery allegations include the member of parliament for Jinja municipality Moses Balyeku who is said to have tried to bribe a land officer of Jinja one Fred Waiswa with a piece of land to put aside the current running lease and instead process for him a freehold land title and Titus Kisambira the chairperson of Jinja district.

Justce Bamugemereire has now ordered Opio to come back tomorrow with a full progress and that those fraudulent officials on the Jinja land board found to have participated in the said transaction will be recommended to the IGG for the law to take its course.

Engineer who faked his death officially charged

By Sania Babirye
The former principle engineer who faked his death 9 years ago to escape charges of causing government a 4.2 billion financial loss over a 70,000 botched local council one bicycles has finally been charged by the anti corruption court.

Robert Kakiza had been indented together with the now convicted and serving a 10 year jail sentence John Muhanguzi the then permanent secretary in the ministry of local government and five others in 2012 but he faked his death until in April this year when he was discovered alive.

Kashaka and his co convicts including former principle accountant Henry Bamutura,former principle procurement officer Mwebaze Robert who is now deceased, Sam Emorutu Erongoti former assistant commissioner for policy and planning, former consultant Timothy Musherure, and Adam Bond Alum a member on the evaluation committee but these had since then being jailed in July 2014 appealed their convictions and sentences and are also out on bail.

In 2012, a death certificate of the purported dead Kakiza was presented to justice Lawrence Gidudu only for him to be arrested in April this year after the statehouse anti corruption unit headed by col.Edith Nakalema arrested him following a tip off from a whistle blower.

He has been charged with abuse of office and an alternative count of corruption.

He has however denied the offenses and his bail already extended by the lower court extended.

The case has now been adjourned to the 18th of September for hearing of his case.

Prosecution states that as a member of the evaluation committee appointed by the minister of local government for procurement of the 70,000 lc1 bicycles, Eng.Kakiza abused his office when he recommended MS an Airtel as having the minimum capacity and experience to supply the said bicycles where as not.

He is also accused of neglecting all his duties by failing to evaluate the said bid.

The said bicycles were to be supplied ahead of the 2011 general elections for political mobilization.

Two BOU officials sent to jail over corruption

By Sania Babirye

The anti corruption court has remanded to Luzira prison two Employees of Bank of Uganda who are facing corruption charges.

These have been identified as 36 year old Francis Kakeeto is a banker working as a Branch manager of Bank of Uganda -Mbale Branch and 42 year old Fred Vito Wanyama an Assistant Branch manager

These have been remanded by grade one magistrate Abert Asimwe after they pleaded not guilty to charges of Abuse of office when they allegedly allowed inclusion of unauthorized cargo on a chartered plane carrying printed material of Bank of Uganda .

According to the charges sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita, the pair was assigned by their employer (BOU) to carry out a pre-shipment inspection of printed material in France but in total abuse of their respective offices allowed inclusion of unauthorized cargo on a chartered plane.

In the alternative, the 2 suspects are facing a charge of corruption in which they are said to have corruptly neglected to perform their duties by failing to report unauthorized cargo on a plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda .

The 2 men allegedly committed the offenses on 26th/April 2019 between France, Belgium and Entebbe International Airport .

The magistrate also denied them bail and remanded them until Tuesday next week to consider their second bail application since he found their first sureties not substantial.

The said sureties had no pepper identification documents to present in court including LC letters to prove area of residence.

The two were arrested following a complaint by Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Mutebile who tipped the anti corruption unit of state house following his suspicion of extra cargo that entered the country abode a chartered BOU plane that was carrying printed material.

According to reports, the plane landed at Entebbe International Airport on the 27th of April 2019 and was cleared by URA officials in the presence of Bank of Uganda officials and Aviation security .

However according to a statement from Bank of Uganda , the chartered plane had to carry 20 pallets instead of 25 .

The alleged anormally was detected during the verification of the consignment hence commencement of investigations which have sofar revealed that the extra cargo belongs to powerful businesmen in the country and organisations.

A joint investigation between CID and State House Anti-corruption unit has sofar led to the arrest of a number Bank of Uganda officials .

Corruption charges against Bakaleke suspended

By Sania Babirye

The corruption charges that were slapped on the now turned police commissioner dissenter and fugitive Siraje Bakeleke have been suspended until he is arrested. The charges against Bakaleke and 8 others have been temporally suspended by the Director of Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita.

The letter discounting proceedings against the 9 was written and signed by the DPP on the 24th of May 2019 and today a state prosecutor attached to the Anti-corruption division of the High court has presented it before anti corruption court Grade one magistrate Moses Nabende .

Bakaleke is jointly charged together with six other senior police officers including: Innocent Munezero, Nuwagaba Innocent, Robert Asiimwe, Amanya Junior, Babu Gastavas Kenneth Zirintuusa and a lawyer Paul Mugoya and Samuel Nabeta.

These charged with the kidnap and defrauding of over 415000 US. Dollars from three Korean nationals.

His co accused were arraigned in court in August 2018 and pleaded not guilty to the offense and have also since then been granted bail by the same court .

However, despite court summoning Bakaleke since then to appear in court to take plea to the charges, the senior police officer is nowhere to be found.

This forced magistrate Nabende in October 2018 to issue a national warrant of arrest for the troubled police officer ordering any Police officer to arrest him on sight for defying several court summons but this remains to be seen also.

The Uganda Police did also state that they did not know the where about of ACP Bakeleke and have since then suspended the former Kampala South Police commander and declared him a wanted person on the run for deserting his work.

Bakaleke is charged with 12 counts of Abuse of office and conspiring with others to steal 1.4 billion shillings (415000 US Dollars ) from three Korean investors in February 2018.

State prosecutor Harriet Ongomu informed court that on the 17th of September, Bakaleke was been dully served through his lawyer Senguka Robert and Nakachwa partners yet they all failed to show up in court with no communication.

On the 11th of September, High court judge Musa Sekaana also dismissed an application by Bakeleke in which he wanted court to stop his trial in the anti corruption court on grounds that the DPP can not prosecute him when investigations were still on going.

On the 5th of September 2018, Grade one magistrate Moses Nabende issued summons against ACP Bakaleke and other 6 police officers serving in different ranks to appear before him and plead to charges of kidnapping and wrongfully confining the three Korean nationals from whom they defrauded 1.4 billion shillings .

Bakaleke’s co accused include Innocent Bunezero, Innocent Nuwagaba, Robery Asimwe, Amanya Junior, Babu Gastavasi, Mugoya Wanyoto Paul and Nabeta Samuel,

These are charged with arbitrary directing the wrongful arrest and confinement of three Korean Nationals.

These are said to have committed the offense between the 4th and 11th of February 2018.

These are facing 12 counts of abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to commit a felony.

After the assassination of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Bakaleke told moaners that he believed he was next inline to be assassinated by people he dud not name and although police gave him security it only lasted for a day after they deserted him.

His whereabouts still remain unknown and the Uganda police has also intensified the search for him to be prosecuted.

State prosecutor charged with corruption

By Sania Babirye

A State prosecutor with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has been charged with corruption after he received a 200,000 bribe.

48 year old Simon Kigwana attached to Nabweru chief magistrate court has today been arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court grade one magistrate Sarah Namusobya charged with two counts of corruption and abuse of office.

He has however denied the charges and releases on a one million cash bail.

He has now been ordered to report back to court after two weeks as investigations into the case continues.

Prosecution states that on the 14th of May 2019 at Nabweru Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kawempe Division, in Kampala district, Kigwana directly solicited for a gratification of 6million shillings for himself from a one Odavious Kasumba and Zam Ndagire in exchange for him to object to a bail application of Abdul Jaggwe .

The suspect had been charged with the offense of threatening violence before Nabweru Court.

Court has further learnt that on the May 5th the following day, Kigwana received 200,000shillings out of the 6million he had asked for.

Anti corruption activists ask government to regulate powers of the IGG

By Daudi Zirimala

The Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) activists say government should regulate rather than curtail the powers of the inspectorate of government as it’s contained in the amendment to public procurement and disposal of public Assets PPDA Act 2003.

According to the executive director of ACCU Cissy Kagaba, it has emerged that government is determined to curtail the powers of the inspectorate of government with regard to investigating procurement related corruption.

Kagaba adds that as anti corruption activists, they believe that intervention by Inspector General in government projects is important and healthy for ensuring transparency and accountability because blocking the IG from investigating procurement related corruption is potentially unconstitutional and could expose government to unnecessary litigation.

They say government should address the lacuna in the regulatory framework to guide the inspectorate and also intervene in procurement corruption cases. They added regulations to IG Act be passed rather than amending the PPDA Act in a potentially unconstitutional manner.

This development comes on the heels of several procurement related scandals including the Katosi rd scandal, national ID scandal and of recent the corruption allegation shrouding the procurement of the new parliament chambers. And if the proposal to the PPDA act is passed, the Inspectorate will no longer be able to probe corruption in procurement projects and the proposal from government is influenced by several projects which have been halted by the Inspectorate of Government pending investigation, this perhaps frustrated some people in government.

2 Ugandans demand court to suck Kuteesa over bribery accusations

By Sania Babirye
Two Ugandan Citizens have gone to the high court seeking an order to declare foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa unfit to hold a public office and consequently immediately relived of his ministerial seat and also banned from ever holding a public office for allegedly receiving a 500,000 US dollars during his one tenure as the United Nation President of the General Assembly.

The applicants including Ronald Tugume a resident of Masajja in Makindye Division Wakiso district and Sam Kyomuhendo have dragged Kutesa who is also Member of Parliament for Mawogola constituency and the government through the attorney General on grounds that they are concerned citizens who are empowered by the 1995 constitution of Uganda to defend the constitution and also hold their elect leaders accountable.

Minister Kutesa served as a UN chairperson in 2014 and was elected president of the UN general assembly during its 69th session which role he served from September 2014 to September 2015.

However, the applicants claim that they have decided to ask court to relieve Kutesa of his cabinet duties because his actions per the constitution of Uganda and the leadership code act are illegal criminal and Immoral.

That the said bribe was given by Hong Kong home affairs ministe Patrick Ho Chi Ping to Kutesa, allegedly disguised as a donation for kutesa’s alleged charity foundation and also support President Museveni’s re-election campaign despite president Museveni having already been elected in February 2016.

That the bribe was to ensure that China obtain business advantages for the energy company in its efforts to secure and contract ventures in Uganda’s financial and energy sector.

And that since then, Ho has been found guilty of giving a bribe and sentenced to three years in a court in New York USA).

Ronald Tugume who swore an affidavit claims that after reading court documents relating to the trial of Patrick Ho in Newyork (USA), it was stated that Kutesa while serving as foreign affairs minister in 2016 received the said bribe from Ho in a bid to secure business dealings in railway services, infrastructure construction, fishing, Hydro energy, banking and finance for the Chinese conglomerate.

Tugume further claim that the said bribe was paid via wire transfer from HBSC bank in Hongo Kong (China) through an intermediary HSBC, Deutche Bank in New York (USA) to Stanbic bank in Uganda in May 2016.

That Patrick Ho was found guilty after his trial in New York before US district judge Loreta Preska and sentenced to three years in prison.

That the court documents which are now public documents used in New York district further show that in or about 2016, after Kutesa had resumed his role as Uganda’s foreign affair minister, that he indeed solicited for the said bribe from Ho purportedly for charitable foundation, he wished to launch and that Ho caused the energy NGO/company to wire 500, 000 us dollars to an account in Uganda designated by Kutesa, through a New York bank.

The documents are also said to show that Ho, while being grilled over the said monies variously referred to his payment as a donation to the re-election campaign of the President of Uganda who had already been elected and as a donation to support Kutesa.

These also claim that in the said alleged court documents, Ho also promised to have the families of Kutesa and the President of Uganda future benefits, including proposing to partner in Lucrative joint ventures if Kutesa assisted the Chines energy company in obtaining businesses in Uganda and also help the said company to acquire a bank in Uganda.

That Ho emphasized that he will only pay the said bribe if their energy company is assisted in major projects from infrastructure, energy, agriculture, finance and banking in Uganda

These have now asked court to declare Kutesa unfit to hold a public office and also a permanent injunction against Kutesa to immediately vacate office of foreign affairs minister on grounds that Kutesa solicited for the said bribe and assured Ho that President Museveni would meet with china’s energy officials and that the Ugandan government will work together with the energy on various projects including the potential sale of Ugandan bank to the energy company.

And that his actions of receiving the said bribe”gift ” contravenes article 233 (2) of the constitution and that of the leadership code act of 2002 since this money was never declared to the inspectorate of Government as a “gift”.

These further claim that Kutesa’ conduct compromised his integrity which is detrimental to public good.

These also want court to declare that government’ failure to investigate and prosecute Kutesa,contravenes article 21 of the constitution that provides that all persons are equal before and under law and that all issues above are of public concern sufficiently great since Kutesa is a minister of foreign affairs.

In December 2018,the attorney general William Byaruhanga exonerated Kutesa over the bribery allegations in a preliminary report presented to parliament.

He stated that Kutesa and his wife Edith were indeed the directors of the energy foundation and that it was a legal foundation that was incorporated on the 24th of July 2015 and received the said donation from Hong Kong based NGO China Energy Fund committee(CEFC) but only to continue championing the 17 sustainable development goals that he was working upo during his tenure as UN General Assembly President.

He also told parliament that it was true that Kutesa’s name had been mentioned in the indictment and featured in the course of Ho’s trial but he was never an accused suspect.

A federal jury in New York court found Ho guilty on all eight accounts of money laundering and bribery over oil rights in Chad and Uganda for CEFC.

He apparently gave out millions of dollars to African officials to seek business favors.

While responding to the allegations, president Museveni stated that he ha heard about the allegations and directed the attorney general to investigate the said allegations but also maintained that Kutesa had informed him about the money and that it was meant for charity work.

Lira district officials remanded

By Sania Babirye

Two Lira district officials have been remanded to Luzira prison after they were charged with embezzling district funds amounting to over 9 million shillings.

The anti corruption court grade one magistrate Abert Asiimwe remanded the town clerk 47 year old Asey Abirebe and principle treasurer 46 year old Awiyo Patrick after they denied the charges.

Although the magistrate granted a 9 million cash bail to each of them, they were however remanded to Luzira prison until the 9th of April to allow both the state and defense agree on their identification documents.

There sureties were also bonded a non cash of 50 million shillings.

Prosecution states that the two with others still at large in the Financial year 2017 at Lira town council embezzled nine million one hundred fifty eighty thousand as compensation paid to Kompe Dennis traffic flow and road maintenance well as not.

The accused were arrested by the newly created special anti corruption unit under state house led by Lt.col Edith Nakalema by President Museveni in December 2018.

While creating it, President Museveni explained that the special unit will supplement of the already existing anti corruption state organs in the fight against corruption and has since its formulation seen many civil servants arrested and are on trial on corruption charges.

Other public servants who are being tried due to the unit include

The Mbarara municipal council town clerk Lwanga Edward together with with the district principle treasurer Kerere Richard Mutungi.

On the 8th of this month, the two were arrested by the unit and charged in the same court with corruption over funds meant for the district roads.

These appeared before chief magistrate Pamela Lamunu and charged with false accounting by a public officer.

They however pleaded not guilty and released on a 10 million cash bail.

Prosecutions states that the two with others still at large between the 14th day of December 2018 and 15th day of January 2019 at Mbarara municipal council in Mbarara district released to the Mbarara municipal council and charged with the receipt custody and management with the funds released to the Municipality by Uganda Road Fund knowingly released a false statement of accountability for 412,249311 shillings and 281296595 shillings money ment for Roads works in the Municipality.

However, the unit has met resistance from those who are being tried on its account with some public servants suing both the unit and its head for usurping the powers of the IGG.

The unit was dragged to court by the recent arrested five senior Mbarara district officials led by one of the suspects Felix Cuthbert Esoku the Chief Administrative Officer of Mbarara district.

Esoku is currently being tried by the anti-Corruption on charges of unlawful allocation of Government land after Lt. Nakalema and the unit arrested him and three other district officials .

His other accomplices who are facing the same charges include the District Staff Surveyor Himbisa Emmanuel, Nayebare Godlive a Senior Land Management Officer and the Human Resource Officer Karuhanga Rosalia

These are accusing Lt .Nakalema’s committee of over stepping its mandate which is merely receiving corruption related complaints and forwarding them to the concerned organs such as the IGG that is vested with powers to handle corruption related cases .

The plaintiffs are further challenging that the actions of the Anti-corruption unit and Lt . Nakalema of taking on corruption cases which are already a subject of investigation by the IGG and ordering police to arrest and detain suspects for more than the mandatory 48hrs without producing them in court for formal charging.

They further claim that their actions are in breaches of the rules of natural justice as the Unit conducts investigations , carries out arrests , prosecutes suspects and becomes judges in their own case.

These are now seeking court to order
Lt.Nakalema to compensate them each with 300 million Uganda shillings for violating their alleged rights since col.Nakalema allegedly had no authority to storm their offices and arrest them or later causing their charging before the Anti- corruption court .

These were arrested on the 22nd of February 2019 and charged on the 28th.

They however, claim that they are illegally being charged because as public servants they are not accountable to the State House Anti-corruption unit.

The anti- corruption court charged Four Mbarara District Local Government Senior Staff with abuse of office and remanded three out of the four to Luzira prison

The four suspects appeared before Grade One Magistrate Albert Asiimwe and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Esoku is accused of processing and causing the leasing of Plot 5B at Mbarara Municipal Council, to a one Charles Ngabirano knowing that the said land did not belong to Mbarara District Local Government.

He is further accused jointly with Himbisa and Nayebare of having subdivided and received payments for development of several plots on Katunzi road and Kamukuzi road in Mbarara Municipality, from individuals employed in the District without authorization from the Uganda Land Commission.

They allegedly committed the offense between the 23rd of February 2016 and 10th of January of 2018 while in performance of their respective duties.

Meanwhile Karuhanga and also a Clerk to Council, is accused of having altered minutes of Mbarara Municipal Council meeting held on 24th/May/2018, with intent to deceive.

The accussed also applied for bail but court granted only Nayebare a three million cash bail and ordered her to deposit her passport with court because she is breast feeding mother.

Munyagwa faces jail

By Sania Babirye
Anti-corruption court chief magistrate Pamela Lamunu has threatened to issue an arrest warrant against the newly appointed chairperson of COSASE Mubarrack Munyagwa if he skips appearing in court for the last time to answer corruption charges.

He allegedly committed the said offenses in his tenure as the Kawempe division mayor.

Munyagwa was expected to appear today to take plea however only his lawyer Chrysostom Katumba showed up claiming that his client was out of the country.

This prompted state prosecutor Komuhangi Alice to ask court to issue a warrant of arrest for Munyagwa on grounds that his alleged travel documents was not authentic.

However Magistrate Lamunu has extended criminal summons to Munyagwa to appear in court without fail on 5th of April or he faces being arrested.

Prosecution states that in the month of December 2014 at Haks Investment Limited, being a Mayor Kawempe Division, Munyagwa solicited for a gratification of 100million shillings from Francis Kakumba in exchange for him to exert improper influence over Kawempe Division Urban Council to nominate Muyanja Isaac as a member of Kampala City Land Board representing Kawempe Division .

In another count , Munyagwa in the same year is also accused of receiving a gratification of 73million shillings out of the 100 million shillings he solicited.

Kadaga vows to continue exposing corrupt government officials

By Alice Lubwama
The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has vowed to continue exposing corrupt officials in government including government ministers, in an effort to end the worsening corruption problem in the country.

Speaking at the ecumenical prayers held at parliament as part of the 3rd Annual parliament week, Kadaga said that she will not protect anyone who is corrupt just because they belong to the ruling National Resistance Movement party.

“Unfortunately they are people in this country who think that if you belong to a political party you should not speak about corruption , Mbu you’re spoiling the name of the party, spoiling the name of the country , I will continue speaking about corruption and atrocities as a leader.” kadaga said.

Kadaga said that neither she nor the parliaments will tolerant corrupt officials, since they engage in corrupt activities as individuals and not the party.

She further noted that public outcry over corruption in the country needs to grow for there to be any real action.

In his sermon, the retired Anglican Bishop of North Kigezi Diocese, Dr. Edward Muhima attributed the increased corruption in the country to lack of faithfulness and transparency.

Muhima said that if the leaders are to be more accountable, they need to be faithful and truthful in whatever they do.

He also challenges members of parliament to be more transparent if they are to regain public confidence and ensure timely service delivery.

This year’s 3rd Annual parliament week is running under the theme “Championing accountability to improve service delivery.”