How Katosi road money was shared

Wednesday September 21 2016
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CICCO consultant Niu Hong (Right) consults with one of the lawyers at the Anti-Corruption Court yesterday. Photo by Michael Kakumirizi

KAMPALA. Former country manager of Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICCO), a road construction company, has revealed how the Shs24 billion dubiously paid for the Mukono-Katosi road works, was shared out.
Mr Niu Hong, currently a consultant with CICCO, told the Anti-Corruption Court at Kololo that he was a co-signatory with

Witness pins Senkeeto on Katosi road scam

Tuesday June 14 2016

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KAMPALA.

Businessman Apolo Senkeeto signed the Mukono-Katosi road contract on behalf of Eutaw Construction Company without authority, a prosecution witness has told court.

Appearing before the Anti-Corruption Court as the second prosecution witness, Mr Geoffrey Ssambwa, a former manager at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), who was part of the negotiation committee for the contract between 2011 and 2013, said Senkeeto was not on the list of directors of Eutaw Construction Company.

However, he testified that Mr Senkeeto appeared as country representative while Mr Richard Platt was a director during negotiations between UNRA and Eutaw leading to the signing of the contract.

He told court that the Mukono-Katosi road contract negotiated in 2011 was cancelled due to lack of funds but the contracts committee rescinded its decision in 2013 after the funds were made available.

“In 2013, I received a communication from the acting executive director, Mr Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, appointing me as a member of the committee to do supplementary negotiations after the contracts committee rescinded its decision cancelling the procurement process.

We were charged with establishing the legal status of the persons representing Eutaw among others and we recommended a physical due diligence exercise after establishing inconsistencies in the contacts,” he said.
Mr Senkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubula is on trial jointly with Eng Kimeze and former Transport minister, Eng Abraham Byandala in connection with more than Shs24 billion that government lost in the botched contract.

The contract was signed by former UNRA Director for Finance and Administration Joe Ssemugooma and Mr Kimeze, who are both on trial.

Others on trial are Mr Wilberforce Senjako (former regional accountant) and Mr Isaac Mugote (former staff of Housing Finance Bank).
They appeared before Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the Anti-Corruption Court for hearing of the case yesterday.

In the previous session, court heard that Mr Byandala initiated meetings at UNRA offices to proceed with the Mukono-Katosi road contract even after the Inspectorate of Government had directed that all activities on the project be stopped and also contrary to the Management Committee’s earlier decision to cancel the deal with Eutaw.

The IGG states that Mr Byandala abused his office when he ordered the continuation of the works on the Mukono-Katosi road by another company Chongqing International Construction Corporation after the Eutaw contract had been cancelled.

Court also heard that the letter allegedly written by Mr Byandala to UNRA was addressed to his then deputy, Eng Byabagambi to get updates about the progress of the project given the atmosphere on site.

Thebackground
Mr Senkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubula is on trial jointly with Eng Kimeze and former Transport minister, Eng Abraham Byandala in connection with more than Shs24 billion that government lost in the botched contract.


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to a joint account opened by Eutaw Construction Company where the Shs24 billion was deposited.

He said on November 8, 2013, he received a call from Senkeeto telling him about the contract. Mr Hong said he called Senkeeto to his office and Senkeeto showed him a letter of award of contract to Eutaw from the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). Mr Hong said, Senkeeto again called him to tell him that the contract had been signed on November 15.
“He asked me how much equipment I could mobilise to the site. Because of the urgency of the need [to take equipment to the project site], I asked for some money. That is how I was made a signatory as a guarantee that I will be paid,” Mr Hong testified.

Mr Hong further testified that on February 3, 2014 he received a call from Senkeeto asking him to go to Housing Finance Bank where he signed for transfer of Shs12 billion to CICCO’s account for mobilisation of equipment and personnel and another transfer of Shs4.6 billion was wired to the US.
At the bank, Mr Hong presented his passport and driving permit to transfer the money.
He said on the same day after the money transfer, Senkeeto gave him a form to sign withdrawing his name as a signatory to the Eutaw Bank account.
Mr Hong also testified that CICCO executed part of the works on the project before the contract was halted in August 2014 but UNRA did not pay them.
He said in the botched deal, Eutaw had sub-contracted CICCO to implement 95 per cent of the physical works worth more than Shs155b.

Earlier on, Mr Martin Olwa who was the project manager, had told court that the physical works done by Eutaw were valued at Shs5.8 billion and the audit showed that only 80 per cent of the equipment was used.
The IGG, who is prosecuting the case, states that Mr Byandala abused his office while holding the Works ministry by a November 14, 2013 letter when he directed the immediate signing of the contract between UNRA and Eutaw yet the company lacked capacity to carry out the road works.
The IGG contends that Byandala further abused his office when in a letter of August 27, 2014 ordered continuation of the works on the Katosi road by CICCO when the ombudsman had suspected the project. The IGG contends that Byandala’s act was tantamount to disobeying lawful orders.

The IGG also accused Mr Kimeze of abuse of office when he signed a contract with Eutaw without establishing that there was a valid performance guarantee and issued a payment guarantee which allowed the payment of over Shs24 billion to the detriment of UNRA’s interests.
Mr Kimeze is jointly charged with Mr Semugooma in a separate case for allegedly causing financial loss to the government by approving payment of the Shs24 billion to Eutaw despite glaring defects in the due-diligence report.
The charges

Senkeeto is charged with causing financial loss of Shs24 billion to the government in the collapsed Mukono-Katosi road contract.
He is jointly charged with f

Court remands former works minister Byandala

Tuesday July 28 2015

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Former works and transport Minister, and minister without portfolio, Mr Abraham Byandala has been remanded to Luzira Prison over allegations of abuse of office and causing financial loss to the government.

Mr Byandala was arrested on Tuesday and produced in anti-corruption court from where he was remanded to until August 11.

Mr Byandala is accused, along with five other suspects over their role in the Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi road.

The other accused persons include Mr Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze former Ag. Executive Director , Joe Ssemugooma former Ag Director Finance and Administration, Uganda National Roads Authority, Marvin Baryaruha, former legal Counsel, Uganda National Roads Authority, Apolo Senkeeto alias Kalyesubula Mark, businessman, and Mugote Isaac, former Banker, Housing Finance Bank Ltd.

The accused appeared in Anti- Corruption Court on Tuesday to take plea.

Mr Byandala on January 13, this year recorded a statement with police detectives over the botched Katosi road construction.

The need to interrogate Mr Byandala arose from a directive from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after the Katosi files were submitted to his office.

Mr Byandala is said to have written to Uganda National Roads Authority officials directing them to procure Eutaw Construction Company for the project.

It was later discovered the procured Eutaw was fake and government had lost billions of shillings in the deal.

Government is said to have lost more than Shs24.7 billion which was advanced to Eutaw Construction Company for the construction of Katosi road, a company that was later said to be non-existent.

; former UNRA acting executive director Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, Joe Ssemugooma , the former director of finance and administration, Wilberforce Senjako (former regional accountant) and Isaac Mugote (former staff of Housing Finance Bank).
They are on trial for charges sanctioned by the Inspector general of Government. The hearing is before Justice Lawrence Gidudu.

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Apac men, women dismantle female condom rings to wear as bracelets

Thursday September 22 2016


APAC: Health officials have raised the red flag over the misuse of female condoms as bracelets, saying the practice is hindering the fight against HIV/Aids.
Ms Eunice Etap, a nursing officer at Akokoro health centre III, said most of their clients who pick up the female condoms from the health unit have abused its use.
“Instead of using the condom as recommended, men and women cut out the rings and wear on their hands as bracelets,” the nursing officer told Daily Monitor at Akokoro health centre on Wednesday.

During a meeting at Akokoro Sub-county headquarters on Wednesday, this reporter saw a man happily wearing the rings. When asked, he claimed he got the two rings from his wife.
Since June this year, about 200 pieces of the female condoms have been distributed to the women in Akokoro Sub-county in Apac District.
“We distribute the condom to them but when they are coming back to the health unit, you find that men and women are wearing the rings as bracelets,” Ms Etap said.
She said children are also often seen blowing the used male condoms thinking they are balloons.

“We educate them on how to use it, we tell them what to do with the condoms, but when they reach home, they mess up,” the nursing officer said.
Under a positive living project initiated for those living with HIV/Aids in Akokoro, both the male and female condoms are distributed through the community condom distributors.
A senior clinical officer, Mr James Opio, who also doubles as the health centre in-charge, said the uptake is still low and knowledge of the female condom is scanty unlike for the male condom.

“For the male condom, the consumption is high and even people demand for it. But the community condom distributors say very few people are demanding for the female condoms,” Mr Opio said.
Female condom
The female condom is a pouch that is used during intercourse to prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Just before vaginal intercourse, it is inserted deep into the vagina. It has flexible rings at each end, and the ring at the closed end holds the pouch in the vagina.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

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