By Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
Baganda say- W’osula olumu olubala (literally meaning that, even if you enjoy only one day, you will mark it). This is what is happening to most Ugandans now days. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Godfrey Bangirana, immediate former Director of Logistics and Engineering was evicted out of office on an order of a High Court. Not only him, David Chandi Jamwa, the National Social Security Fund Managing Director, was convicted of abuse of office and Supreme Court retained the sentence of 12 years imprisonment.
John Abouf Turyagyenda, In-charge of Rural Electrification Agency, was also arrested at Entebbe International Airport enroot to Morocco. Mr. John Muhanguzi Kashaka, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, and five others have been convicted of being involved in the LCI bicycle scandal.
Bangirana was replaced as police director for logistics and engineering by his deputy, Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP), Richard Edyegu. Bangirana is accused of abuse of office after whistle-blowers petitioned the Inspector General of Government to probe his wealth, expenditure of police money and costs incurred in various police projects under his supervision.
As he was attending the 25th Police Council meeting on Monday last week, the High Court Civil Division ordered Bangirana out of office with immediate effect.The directive was given by Justice Henrietta Wolayo stopping Bangirana from drawing any salary and emoluments from government until the conclusion of the main case in which Uganda Young Democrats UYD member, Isaac Maddo, accuses him of wasting taxpayers’ money.
Court ruled that Bangirana’s continued illegal stay in office taints police reputation and any payments drawn by him causes an irreparable damage to public funds.
The Supreme Court last Friday upheld a 12-year jail sentence handed to the former NSSF managing director David Chandi Jamwa for causing the government a financial loss of Shs 3 billion. Jamwa was first handed the sentence in 2011 by the then Anti-corruption court judge John Bosco Katutsi for having sold NSSF treasury bonds to Crane bank before maturity on October 4, 2007.
On the same day, aviation security together with sister Security agencies at Entebbe International Airport arrested one of the Richest Ugandans under 40 commonly referred to as UB40, over alleged embezzlement of public funds.
John Abouf Turyagyenda aka (JAT) was picked by security officers at Entebbe International Airport fleeing the country to Morocco over numerous fraud charges that he has reportedly orchestrated within Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Other convicts in the corruption related cases include; Henry Bamutura (Principal Accountant), Mr Robert Mwebaze (Principal Procurement Officer), Mr Sam Emorut Erongot (Assistant Commissioner Policy and Planning), Mr Timothy Musherure and Mr Adam Aluma.
While delivering her judgment, Ms Bamugemereire said that there was over whelming evidence adduced by the prosecution linking the convicts to the offenses which amounted to abuse of office.
Mr Kashaka along with Mr Bamutura were charged with abuse of their offices when they allegedly signed a final contract with the bicycle supply firm Amman Industrial Tools and Equipment Ltd (Aitel) for delivery of 70,000 bicycles, without contacting and approval of the Contracts Committee.
About Shs4.6 billion is alleged to have been paid to the supply firm but no single bicycle has been delivered to date.
The climax of the corruption fight will be, the Anti- Corruption walk where President Yoweri Museveni will be the Chief Walker tomorrow 4th.Dec. 2019. Other dignitaries expected in the patriotic walk include Speaker of Parliament, Rebeca Alitwala Kadaga and Chief Justice, Justice Bart Magunda Katurebe.The trio represent the three arms of government.
Apart from political leaders from both government and opposition, and central and local governments, leaders of traditional/cultural institutions and spirituals leaders including Bishops, Sheikhs, Pastors and many others are expected to take part in the walk.
This answers the critiques of government who always say that it is only small fish that is caught. This time it is big fish being convicted and sentenced, some on charges and others held as investigations progress.
People of all walks of life have been heard expecting more fish implicated in corruption scandals according to Public Accounts Committee, Reports of Auditor General, those of IGG, and those exposed by civil society and media, to get arrested, prosecuted and convicted. All this is being done now.
Some wanainchi have been heard as saying that even if government commitment is only during this anti-corruption week, it has made an impact (W’osula olumu olubala).The President has not been with kind words with IGG until Anti -Corruption Unit under Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema came in. I encourage all of us to join hands and fight corruption tendencies in our country.
The Writer is a Communication Assistant at Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC), Ministry of ICT and National