Uganda: 3 ministers to face court over CHOGM

(New Vision) NINE more Government officials including three ministers and three permanent secretaries are to face the Anti-corruption Court over abuse of CHOGM funds.

The Inspectorate of Government is investigating the nine cases and according to the spokesperson, some of the investigations may be concluded by the middle of this month.

The cases, according to IGG spokesperson Munira Ali, concern different Chogm programmes, including street lighting, diversion of the Northern by-pass and investment in hotels where the Government was expected to get shares.

Others were venue decorations and security telecommunication systems which include the closed circuit TV and walkie-talkies.

Munira, however, declined to divulge the identities of the officials involved for fear of jeopardising investigations.

On Monday this week, the anti-corruption court issued criminal summons for former Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya for his role in the Chogm expenditures.

Bukenya is required to appear in the City Magistrate’s Court on June 16 at 9:00am to be charged with abuse of office and fraudulent practices.

On a separate charge sheet, he also faces charges of fraudulent transactions in connection with the contract to supply Chogm cars. Bukenya is jointly charged with Motor Care Uganda Limited, the suppliers of the said vehicles.

Though he has not appeared in court yet, Bukenya said he is confident to face the charges against him.

He defended himself before the Public Accounts Committee examining the Auditor General’s report, saying procurement rules were waived to beat tight deadlines.

The investigation into the 2007 Chogm activities was ordered by President Yoweri Museveni after the Auditor General published a report that the Chogm bill had jumped from sh270b to sh400b. The figure later went to sh500b.

Under section 11 of the Anti-Corruption Act, any person found guilty of fraudulent transaction is liable to a sentence not exceeding seven years imprisonment or a fine of sh3.3m or both.

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