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OPM: MPs clear Mbabazi of wrongdoing in scam

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The Prime Minister dismisses the report that links him to the scam

The Prime Minister dismisses the report that links him to the scam at the OPM where tax-payers lost more than Shs50 billion. Photo by Rachel Mabala. 

By Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Friday, February 28   2014 at  10:01

In Summary

The Prime Minister says the information used to author a minority report was not based on tangible facts.

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Kampala- Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has refused to take responsibility and has defended himself against accusations that he participated in the abuse of funds meant for rehabilitation of northern Uganda and Karamoja.

Mr Mbabazi, who was yesterday cleared by Parliament of any wrongdoing in the scandal involving abuse of more than Shs50 billion, had told MPs on Tuesday the recommendations in a minority report authored by the Kalungu West MP, Joseph Ssewungu, in which he is accused of diverting funds to buy a car [Mercedes Benz] and other escort vehicle were not based on facts.

He said information available indicates that Mr Ssewungu did not attend committee proceedings as members [PAC] considered a final draft of the report.
“I assumed the post of Prime Minister in May 2011. I explained to the committee that there was only one vehicle, which Prof Apolo Nsibambi (former PM) had used for over eight years. The outgoing PM (Prof Nsibambi) needed a car that he would use after his exit from office. ”
“This guaranteed that the office gets a new vehicle due to the fact that the one that was available had been used beyond government’s stipulated time of four years,” he said.
The PM also told the House that the vehicles were not his personal property and they could be available to anyone who would come in the office after him.

He also dismissed allegations that he blocked the transfer of Mr Kazinda from the OPM, saying he was not aware of Mr Kazinda’s financial impropriety but the time he was being transferred.

I learnt that he (Kazinda) was being transferred without proper handover. So I wanted them to give him time to handover,” he said.

According to available information Mr Kazinda was a principal figure in the loss of more than Shs50 billion at the OPM office meant for the rehabilitation northern Uganda and Karamoja.

Mr Kanzinda, the former chief accountant in the OPM, was recently convicted for his role in the loss of billions of Shillings.

ymugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com