Crime & Investigation

Shs600m MTN Fraud Case Hearing Kicks Off

In what appears a provocation to the political battlefield, information pills embattled Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has urged former premier Amama Mbabazi to come out and explain why he was sacked.

“I know you’re pretending to be civil, recipe calm and gentleman, I respect you for that but that is risky. The army comes and attacks your home, you just smile. Many things are done to you and you keep quiet, why?” asked Lukwago.

The impeached Kampala Mayor made the remarks Friday while addressing journalists in Kampala.

“Politically you’re a lame duck riding on the back of your wife Jacqueline. If she has come out to say something, why don’t you come out and tell us what happened? If you continue keeping quiet, you won’t have it your way because you are very much aware that this government can’t be handled like that but in an assertive way.”

Lukwago is the latest politician to woo Mbabazi to openly challenge President Museveni instead of relying on covert methods and keeping people speculating about his next move.

Mbabazi maintains he will not stand against Museveni in 2016 for president but that harbouring presidential ambitions is not a criminal offence.

Mbabazi was removed from the position of Prime Minister in September before being disarmed.

According to Lukwago, Mbabazi was one of his tormentors who forced him to relinquish power as the political head of Kampala.


But the former Lord Mayor noted that he has no vendetta against the former premier.

“I remember in November last year after court ordered that I stay as Lord Mayor, Mbabazi said at a press conference that they would not allow me back to my office. However, I have forgiven him because now we are in the same position.”

He added: “These two months have not been easy for him but he should get used to it otherwise I welcome him and in fact I can offer him a desk at my chambers as a lawyer and we fight together.”
Kampala Metropolitan Traffic Police Commander, web Lawrence Niwabiine has appreciated Vivo Energy Uganda upon their initiative of Road Safety Education Programme in schools which has so far produced 1200 Road Safety Ambassadors in 12 schools within Kampala.

Speaking during the Road Safety competition organized by Vivo Energy at UMA conference hall, Niwabiine noted that this initiative to extend road safety awareness to schools is very welcome and most effective and efficient method of transferring information and hence transforming society.

“Road safety has not attracted much attention in the country due to lack of enough awareness on the dangers of poor road usage and how they can be avoided,” Niwabiine remarked.

Niwabiine added that the idea of involving students and pupils in the fight against poor road use is so much welcome and pledged that traffic police will continue to partner with Vivo Energy so as to roll out the programme out side Kampala.

Vivo Energy Managing Director, Hans Paulsen called upon all passengers to always be mindful of their primary responsibility in fighting bad driving and poor road usage.

“Road safety begins with every individual realizing that life is expensive and can at anytime be a victim of accidents that have claimed many lives in the country, not forgetting that last year over 3000 people died of accidents in the country,” Paulsen advised.

Paulsen noted that the competition that were held is culmination of the training that has been succefully conducted among the 12 competing schools and is part of Vivo Energy’s Road Safety Education Programme that was launched in March this year as part of the company’s corporate social investment programme.

“The programme is aimed at increasing road safety awareness and commitment among school schildren and to help change their attitude and behavior on the road, thereby inculcating a road safety culture among Uganda’s future generation.”

 The pupils from different schools put up a great show as they portrayed messages about road safety in music, poetry and drama — at UMA Conference Hall.

The pupils from different schools put up a great show as they portrayed messages about road safety in music, poetry and drama

The schools that participated in the competition are Green Hill Academy, Kiswa Primary School. Makerere University Primary School, Sunrise Primary school, Light House Primary school, St Benedict Primary school, Kibuye Primary school, Kitante Primary School, Bat Valley Primary School, Kireka Church of Uganda , Busega Preparatory school and Yudesi Primary school.

The trained road safety ambassadors participated in a competition in which they sought to communicate the themes of Decade of Action for Road Safety through music, poetry and drama.

The schools creativity developed the messages to communicate causality management at accident scenes, corruption on the road, over speeding, substance abuse, use of protective gear on the road and dangerous mechanical conditions of vehicles.

At the end of the day, it was all joy as Busega preparatory school prevailed over the other schools with 92 points and Sun rise primary school became second with 89 points.
Embattled Kampala Lord Mayor has revealed that he has written to donors highlighting the mess at the City Hall which he said has led to loss of huge sums of donor and tax payers’ money.

Addressing journalists in Kampala on Friday, buy Lukwago explained that in his letter copied to the World Bank, IMF, European Union and other donor organizations and countries, he highlighted how dangerous it was extending loans to KCCA which he said is marred by crooks and has no governance structures and accountability systems in place.

“Ever since KCCA was transferred to be under the office of the President, huge sums of money have been swindled and unaccounted for. In fact the President now acts as the Lord Mayor who summons councillors to State House and gives them orders,” Lukwago noted.

“The KCCA budget is skewed in such a way that won’t realize the much desired development of the city because over 70 percent of the appropriations are channelled towards public administration and payment of staff members.”

KCCA boss Jennifer Musisi maintains the city is headed for a huge transformation especially in the infrastructure and health sectors

Speaking recently in Kampala, Musisi said over the last 3 years “we attained some impressive achievements not only in terms of the tangible outputs that we have accomplished but more importantly in restoring hope for our residents and partners.”

She said, “Under our 3 year minimum recovery programme we implemented a series of flagship programmes that included corporate rebranding and restoring public trust, streamlining the financial management systems, increasing local revenue collections, recruitment of a competent and highly motivated staff, recovery of institutional assets, rehabilitation of key infrastructure like roads, drainage channels, health centers and schools, increasing garbage collection and cleanliness of the city, enforcing compliance to basic law and order as well as greening and beautification.”

However, according to Lukwago there are plans by officials in KCCA to inflate and over price works by the city body as one of the ways to swindle money from donors which he said has to be fought.

“The President has now assumed all the powers of the authority and everything at KCCA is run by his appointees, the Executive Director and Minister and they have lined up the authority management to the style reflecting what goes on in State House,” said Lukwago.

He further noted that no work is going on at City Hall as all the councillors are redundant and peddling what he termed as “rumors in the corridors of KCCA headquarters” and that at the end of the month they receive salaries which he said is part of money donated or borrowed by KCCA.

Lukwago stings President

The embattled Lord Mayor explained that the president is perpetrating all the mess as a punishment to the city electorates whom he said voted for opposition leaders and left out those preferred by the president.

“He has always expressly vented out his anger against the electorate in Kampala for consistently voting for opposition-leaning mayors and majority Members of Parliament,” said Lukwago.

“I’m not opposed to development partners extending loans or grants to Kampala but this can only happen in a transparent manner. We want a forensic audit from international firms for the monies given to KCCA as one of the ways to bring about transparency,” he urged.
Main stream opposition political parties  have finally agreed to field FDC’s Lucy Akello to tassel it out for the Amuru District Woman MP seat in the forth coming by-election.

After several consultative meetings held by FDC, tadalafil DP and UPC presidents in Amuru district, sildenafil Akello was reportedly found formidable and highly competitive for the seat.

Akello is the executive director of the Justice and Peace Commission at Gulu Archdiocese and holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies.

The vetting process involved the Democratic Party (DP), capsule Adocho Nyapolo and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Grace Auma.

Akello will face off with Poline Achan who will stand as an independent candidate and an NRM candidate who wins in the party primaries set for October 31 between Jane Amongin and Gloria Abalo.

The Amuru District Woman Member of Parliament seat fell vacant following the resignation of Hon. Betty Bigombe after she landed a job as Senior Director at the World Bank.

According to EC, the nomination of candidates shall be conducted on Monday, November 3rd and Tuesday, November 4th 2014 at the district headquarters.

The By-elections shall be held on November 20th after campaign meetings that shall be held for a period of thirteen days from 6th to 18th November 2014.
The Anti-corruption magistrate’s court in Kololo has began the hearing of a case against a former MTN employee, more about one Naphtali Were who faces three counts of forgery and attempted fraud when he allegedly presented two demand notes claiming they were from the Uganda National Bureau of standards (UNBS).

Prosecution led by State Attorney Harriet Angom contends that between the May 2011 and May 2012, Naphtal Were during his employment as a Logistics Officer with MTN Uganda presented a series of documents with a total value of Shs 618,179,045 to the MTN finance department purporting them to be claims payable to UNBS which were later found to be forged including the stamp used.

Were denies the charges, saying MTN is trumping up “ludicrous charges” against him after exposing allegations of tax evasion against the giant telecom’s top officials.

Court recently dismissed the tax evasion case against MTN officials.

The MTN Chief Finance Officer Michael Blackburn who was the first witness to testify in the matter on Thursday narrated how they discovered an anomaly in the documents when they were at an advanced stage to instruct their banker Stanbic to wire the money to the UNBS account that had been fraudulently opened in Stanbic Iganga.

Appearing before chief magistrate Sarah Langa, Mr. Blackburn explained how he was alerted by his team and on cross checking with both UNBS and Stanbic bank, he confirmed that there was a collusion to defraud MTN.

A plot was then hatched to wire money to Stanbic bank but with instructions to the bank not to pay but to find out the individuals who will come to collect the money.

Mr. Were was among the individuals who reportedly showed up to pick the money and he was promptly arrested by the police.

Other witnesses lined up to testify could not do so as the chief magistrate Langa had to attend to another case.

They are Emmanuel Zinabala a senior manager finance operations and Peter Ochen the treasury manager.

The accused is represented by Friday Kagoro, an Associate partner at Muwema & Mugerwa Advocates & Solicitors.

MTN is being represented by Michael Akampurira of Akampurira & Partners.

On consultation with lawyers representing both parties, the chief magistrate adjourned the hearing to the 9th December this year.

Were and former MTN Uganda accountant John Paul Basabose are also jointly charged with directors of Threeways shipping limited with theft, fraud and embezzlement at the same Anti-Corruption court in a logistics fraud case where MTN Uganda lost 10 Billion through fictitious invoices.

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