Works ministry probed over fraud
Posted Monday, February 4 2013 at 02:00
State House has started inquiries into the Shs15 billion fraud.
State House has launched an investigation in the Ministry of Works and Transport in what seems to be a case of “meticulous duplication” of a donor funded project and suspected theft of over Shs15 billion.
The Infrastructure Monitoring Unit at State House is investigating an alleged syndicate of fraudsters at the ministry, who are stealing donor funds under a scheme called Community Agriculture Infrastructure Improvement Programme (CAIIP), that has seen a national project duplicated.
Last week, police arrested an engineer at the Works Ministry and a former chief accounting officers to help with investigations. The two are said to have been signatories to bank accounts where the fraudulently acquired funds were channelled only to be later withdrawn and shared.
Deputy police spokesperson Vincent Ssekate could neither confirm nor deny. He asked for time to cross check but by press time he had not gotten back to this newspaper and his known telephone was switched off.
In a telephone interview with this newspaper yesterday, the Works Ministry Permanent Secretary (PS), Mr Charles Muganzi, said no communication from State House had been addressed directly to him.
“I have been informed of communications to this effect to my office. None however have been directly addressed to me as Engineer Muganzi,” he told this newspaper, directing it to Mr Obiero Mugisa, another Works Ministry official whom he said has been cooperating with State House.
The CAIIP project, run under the Local Government Ministry, was allegedly duplicated into the Works Ministry and incorporated into a donor recipient system.
This subsequent duplication has allegedly been receiving donor funds concurrently with the real CAIIP project, for development works it has never conducted since 2007.
On December 3, 2012, State House wrote to the office of the Works Ministry PS, giving notice that the Infrastructure Monitoring Unit of State House would be conducting an audit of the CAIIP project.
According to the letter, a copy of which was seen by this newspaper, the office of the PS was asked to avail a list of CAIIP projects documents.
“The documents review will be followed by field visits to this matter.
Treat this with the utmost urgency and confirm availability of the above documents latest by 10 December 2012,” State House’s Benon Abaho wrote.