Friday June 27 2014

It’s judgment day for LC1 bicycle scam case suspects


The Anti Corruption Court is today expected to deliver its judgment that will determine the fate of six men, including the former permanent secretary of the Local government ministry, John Muhanguzi Kashaka.

The six are accused of having a hand in the bungled procurement deal of 70,000 bicycles that were meant to be used by village LC1 chairpersons ahead of the 2011 Presidential elections but government instead lost over Shs4.6 billion in the raw deal.
The verdict is expected to be read out by presiding judge Catherine Bamugemereire.

About a month ago, the trial judge set today’s date after concluding the hearing of the case that had dragged on for some years.
At the end of the trial, two court assessors called for the conviction of all the accused persons as charged on grounds that there was over whelming evidence adduced by the prosecution linking them to the offenses.

Once convicted of abuse of office, Mr Kashaka and his co-accused stand to be jailed up to 7 years and 14 years for causing financial loss.
The other suspects in this case 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.

Mr Kashaka along with Mr Bamutura are accused of abusing 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.

Prosecution led by Ms Jane Abodo alleges that Bank of Uganda warned Mr Kashaka about the discrepancies in the contract but ignored and signed it, an act that led to the loss of over Shs4.2 billion to government.