Global fund boss held over fraud
Posted Tuesday, January 22 2013 at 02:00
The issue. He is wanted over his alleged role in a Shs1.2 billion attempted cash fraud involving National Medical Stores.
The police have arrested the Finance Manager of Global Fund Uganda, Mr Alex Gumisiriza, over his alleged role in the attempted National Medical Store (NMS) fraud of Shs1.2 billion.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) arrested Mr Gumisiriza at the weekend, detaining him at the Kireka Based Special Investigation Unit (SIU) before being interrogated yesterday.
According to sources privy to the ongoing investigations, Mr Gumisiriza is alleged to have gathered signatures for the authorisation of the payment of the money to a dubious account in ABC Bank.
The Director CIID, Ms Grace Akullo, confirmed the arrest.
However, Mr Gumisiriza told detectives that he collected the signatures while under pressure from an official from the Ministry of Health.
Mr Gumisiriza is alleged to have collected the signature of Mr Peter Okul, the project coordinator of Global Fund Malaria Control Programme (GFMCP) at the airport when he was boarding a plane, raising suspicion on the urgency of the transaction.
Detectives want to ascertain where the alleged forged invoice, which named ABC Bank and the account number to which the Shs1.2 billion was supposed to be deposited, was generated from following denial of knowledge by the General Manager NMS, Mr Moses Kamabare.
Police has so far interrogated a number of senior officials, including, Mr Kamabare, the PS in the ministry of health, Dr Asuman Lukwago, Mr Peter Okul, the Assistant Commissioner Accounts, Mr Ponziano Nzeko and officials from Bank of Uganda.
Dr Lukwago and other officials from the Ministry are alleged to have instructed Bank of Uganda to pay the Shs1.2b to the questionable account.
However, after Bank of Uganda expressed reservation to directly transfer the money to the local bank, Dr Lukwago wrote to the Accountant General, seeking his opinion on the matter.
NMS has insisted that the invoice to which the payment was being deposited for was a forgery from the ministry as the original invoice had been sent a year-and-a-half ago.
The invoice, sent in November 2012 which is subject to investigation, has the same reference number, amount and content but different dates to an earlier invoice sent to the ministry in March 2011 by NMS.