The Office of the Inspectorate of Government has prevented the loss of Shs25 billion that would have been swindled by corrupt public officials in connivance with those in private sector, Mariam Wangadya the Deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG) said Wednesday in Kampala during the opening of this year’s Tax Appreciation Week 2018 organised by the Uganda Revenue Authority at Kololo Independence Grounds.
Wangadya did not reveal the culprits who had intended to swindle the money but added that her office has also traced Shs5.2 billion by tracking the illicitly acquired assets and as well recovered extra Shs2.2 billion.
However, the official said the court litigation is not helping her office (IGG) to recover billions of shillings as the culprits are convicted and only sentenced to serve jail terms. She gave an example of businessman Apollo Senkeeto and others who were involved in the Katosi road scam where they are said to have defrauded government of Shs24.7 billion.
The Anti-Corruption Court towards the end of August sentenced Senkeeto also known as Mark Kalyesubula to 10 years imprisonment for theft, three years imprisonment for each of the six charges of uttering false documents and five years for obtaining execution of a security by false pretence.
Senkeeto was the country representative of Eutaw Construction Company, which is accused of fleecing Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in the Katosi contract scam.
The Court also sentenced former UNRA director of finance and administration Joe Semugooma to five years for abuse of office and also imprisoned him jointly with his former junior, Wilberforce Senjako to another five years for corruption.
The court acquitted former works minister, Eng Abraham Byandala, former UNRA Acting Executive Director Eng Berunado Sebugga Kimeze, Mr Marvin Baryaruha (former legal counsel) and former Housing Finance employee Isaac Mugote.
Justice Lawrence Gidudu faulted the prosecution led by the Inspectorate of Government for failing to present evidence in the case of causing financial loss and as such declined to make an order for compensation to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), claiming that there was lack of road engineering audit to quantify the loss.
The official has therefore urged government of Uganda to learn from neighboring Kenya whereby those who steal public money and assets are forced to refund. That way, she said, would be a deterrent to those who want to engage in corruption and embezzlement.
Some of the ongoing cases where IGG has dragged culprits to court
Ug Vs Butamanya Moses, Tushabomwe Clare, Ruth Abonga And Natukwatsa Fausta –
Acd Cr Case No 0050/2015.
In 2015, the Inspectorate of Government charged the Court Clerk of Mukono Court Butamanya Moses, for soliciticiting and receiving gratification. While Butamanya was being arrested, Tushabomwe Clare, Ruth Abonga and Natukwatsa Fausta obstructed the arrest and were later charged for Obstruction of investigations.
For drawing lessons, the three officers were charged with obstruction of investigations because they deliberately hindered the arrest of the court clerk who has solicited and received gratification, and during the scuffle that ensued the camera belonging to the IG was damaged.
Some of the reasons given by the trial Magistrate were that it was not clear to court whether the camera was damaged or had just run out of battery (The state needed expert testimony on the state of the camera which has been damaged). Secondly, there were challenges with identification of the individuals who took part in the obstruction and their specific roles. The matter is still under prosecution.
Ug Vs Bernard David Wandera, Former Director Soroti Flying School, Soroti. -Acd No. 33/2014
Embezzlement and diversion of funds
One of cases concluded case
Ug Vs Kansiime Frank and another, Engineering Officer and Engineering Assistant –
Offence committed: Abuse of office, embezzlement, false accounting