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.”

Kadaga demands for interim report on Kutesa’s bribe scandal

By Alice Lubwama

The Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga directs Government through the attorney general William Byaruhanga to provide parliament with an interim report into the allegations that foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa received a bribe from Former Hong Kong Home Affairs minister Patrick Ho Chi-ping in order to help him secure business deals in Uganda before parliament closes business on 20th of this month.

This was after Lwemiyaga county MP Theodore Sekikubo raised the matter before parliament and asked the house to take a decision in order to redeem the image of the country since Kutesa received the bribe as the foreign affairs minister of Uganda.

The MP also demanded that Government explains how money moved from Hong kong bank through united states and ended up in Uganda without the financial intelligence agency detecting this financial laundering.

In response the attorney general William Byaruhanga informed parliament how the president had asked him to investigate the matter and will share the findings with parliament in January next year. How ever the mp disagreed with the attorney general on the time frame, saying they needed the report very first.

Kadaga then ordered Byaruhanga to present an interim report before parliament breaks off for a Christmas recess.

On 6th of this month the Former Hong Kong Home Affairs minister Patrick Ho Chi-ping was found guilty by the federal court in USA of offering millions of bribes to several African leaders including Ugandan and Chadian presidents.

According to media reports, its alleged that the total of $500,000 bribe given to Kutesa was in a bid to secure business dealings in railway services, infrastructure construction, fishing, hydro-energy, banking and finance as well as tourism for the Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co. Other potential deals for CEFC included;
construction of a Chinatown to boost tourism on land near Victoria and possibly an island.

Women root for more leadership positions to rid Africa of corruption

By Edwin Muhumuza

Legislators meeting in Kigali, Rwanda want African governments to give women more leadership positions as a solution to corruption. They say women tend to behave more honestly than men and are concerned about fairness in their decisions.

Several studies suggest that women are less corrupt, and that companies with a higher number of women in decision making perform better in terms of resource management and maintaining a zero tolerance level for corruption,” said First Lady, Mrs Janet Kagame, who opened the 11 th Pan African Parliament Conference on the Rights of Women.

She said that women’s leadership as proactive and social agents of change is the game changer in the fight against corruption in Africa.

Alhagie Mbow, a legislator from The Gambia, reinforced the assertion that women’s leadership is crucial in combating corruption and bolstering African economies.

The latest research by Virginia Tech says that a greater representation of women in government is bad news for corruption,” he said adding that, “If we want to eliminate corruption in this continent, we need to empower women more by giving them positions of leadership. Women empowerment is not just about giving women basic positions but positions such as being heads of state, ministers of finance, ministers of energy, because these are positions where they can make an impact.”

The study, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization by Virginia Tech in June 2018, spanned 125 nations worldwide, and established that corruption is lower in countries where there are a greater number of women in political leadership.

Responding to the findings, Uganda legislator Hon. Babriye Veronica Kadogo, observed that indeed corruption is a cancer affecting development because it affects all sectors. She noted that women are affected the most because corruption affects service delivery especially in the areas of health, infrastructure, education, water, sanitation, and other social sectors, which mainly affect women and children.

The legislator however sought to be provided statistics to support the proposition of the piety of women in leadership.

The discussants have talked about women not being corrupt but they have not given us statistics,” she said adding “What is the percentage of women compared to men who are corrupt because if the statistics indicate 40 per cent then it is high. And who are those women who are corrupt? The majority are rural women and that means it’s the elite and those women here that are corrupt.”

With regard to corruption being exacerbated by low levels of women’s empowerment, Kadogo said Uganda has programmes of empowering women, especially those in rural areas to equip them with capital and entrepreneurial skills.

During the debate on the gender dimension in the fight against corruption, members pointed out that the increasing incidences of electoral corruption had the potential to undermine the effectiveness of women in the fight against corruption. Some legislators also questioned the assertion that women were less corrupt arguing that they participated indirectly through agents or benefited from proceeds of corruption.

Conference Recommendations

Hon. Anifa Bangirana Kawooya, who is also the 3 rd Deputy Chairperson of the Pan African Parliament Women’s Caucus, presented to participants the conference recommendations and way forward, which included among others that African parliaments should advocate for gender mainstreaming in all governance and developmental initiatives in order to ensure that women are given leadership positions and that women empowerment is given priority. That African Union member states should be encouraged to ratify and domesticate AU instruments on gender equality and the fight against corruption. They also recommended to African countries to introduce values of anti corruption in their school curricular.

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.