Monday, October 26, 2020

Uganda: Office of Prime Minister officials arrested over Covid-19 price inflation scheme

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The State House Anti-Corruption Unit working with Police, have Thursday arrested top officials at the Office of the Prime Minister, who are being accused of trying to profit off the ongoing efforts by the government to distribute relief food to communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The arrested were allegedly inflating the costs of the relief food.

Lt Col Edith Nakalema who heads the Anti Corruption Unit announced the arrest this afternoon.

She said the arrest followed an investigation that was ordered by President Yoweri Museveni himself.

“Preliminary findings have established that the accounting officers in the Office of the Prime Minister were inflating prices and rejecting lower price offers from various suppliers of maize flour and beans, ” Nakalema revealed.

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“In this regard, the Accounting Officer, Mr Joel Wanjala; the Assistant Commissioner Procurement, Mr Fred Lutimba; and the Commissioner Disaster Management (Head COVID-19 Relief Management), Mr Martin Owor have all been arrested to help with the on-going investigation.”

ChimpReports understands that OPM Permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde recently asked Treasury Secretary Keith Muhakanizito excuse her from the position of the accounting officer. This was after coming under intense pressure from city businessmen and powerful lobbyists for business opportunities. Muhakanizi obliged, removing all powers of accounting officer from Guwatudde.

Wanjala took over the position. Itʼs understood Guwatudde was in the office today when Nakalemaʼs team raided OPM.

The officers have been handed over to Police led by superintendent of Police Jackson Tweheyo.

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“I have handed over Officers of OPM to the Criminal investigations Detectives and will be headed by superintendent of Police Tweheyo Jackson, detective superintendent of Police Ogema Tanga and deputy Inspector of Police Banard Ocaya, ” said Nakalema while handing over arrested officers a short while ago. Recently, Col Nakalema was activated by the President to received and investigated complaints about government officials regarding the Covid19 government response, including security officers.

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