Uganda: Suspended UBC bosses arrested

UBC Headquarter/Photo skyscrapercity.com

(Source: Daily Monitor)Top managers of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) who were suspended last week over alleged financial mismanagement have been arrested.
The board chairman, managing director and three other top managers were arrested by the police yesterday after they reportedly attempted to destroy incriminating files at the public broadcasting institution.

A police source, who disclosed details of the development on condition that he is not named, confirmed that the officials were arrested yesterday evening by detectives and face corruption charges.

The source named the arrested officials as Mr Chris Katuramu, the suspended chairman of the UBC board, Mr Edward Musinguzi Mugasa, the suspended managing director, Assistant Human Resource Manager Zahura Miya, the Head of Finance and Administration, Mr Patrick Lwere, and a human resource secretary, Mr Felista Bakozaki.

He added that Mr Lwere is accused of holding two civil service jobs, one in the Prime Minister’s office and the other at UBC. “They were also trying to destroy files about their employees and those regarding the financial soundness of the corporation. We have arrested them and are going to interrogate them regarding the missing files,” the source said yesterday.

The suspended officials were arrested as they came to hand over a report to the investigators and the new MD while others were picked from their offices at UBC head offices on Shimoni Road yesterday evening.

UBC spokesperson Jane Kasumba confirmed the arrest of the former board and staff, explaining that the police were to interrogate the officers about the report they submitted yesterday.

“They have been detained but the information I am getting is that they have been released,” Ms Kasumba said on phone after 8pm yesterday. Asked whether the arrest of human resource manager and the financial head will not affect the entire system, she said: “UBC is not run by one person. We have a competent team to carry out the work.”

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba too said she was not aware of the arrest, which comes barely a week after police raided UBC premises and locked all offices of the top managers pending an investigation into allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the state broadcaster.

On Saturday, outgoing Minister of Information Kabakumba Masiko suspended UBC board members including Mr Katuramu, Mr Mugasa, Prof. Pilkington Ssengendo, Mr David Oola and Dr Daisy Namono. Others are Mr Fred Bamwesigye, Mrs Wandera and Mr Tom Okurut.

The board and management handed over the power to the acting managing director, Mr Paul Kihika, on Saturday. UBC is public broadcaster founded by the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation Act of 2004, which merged Uganda Television (UTV) and Radio Uganda operations.

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