Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Three NAADS officials from Manafwa District who caused a payment of 65.3m shs for supply of 100,000 coffee seedlings without following procurement laws, regulations and requirements have been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment each, if they fail to pay a total court fine of 13.8 million shillings.
Justice Magret Tibulya found Natanga Patrick Matembu the District NAADS Coordinator and Juma Nkunyingi the Accounting officer guilty of Abuse of Office, while Alex Namolya the Chairman Manafwa District Farmers Forum was found guilty of preparation to commit an offence.
The Prosecution case was that in April and May 2011 in Manafwa District Namolya assisted and jointly worked with Natanga to contravene procurement procedures, and caused Nkunyingi to pay 65.3m shs to Shiswabula Enterprises allegedly for the supply of 100,000 Coffee seedlings, welknowing that no procurement process was undertaken.
Evidence then showed that the said company never applied for and was never awarded the contract.
Namolya knew that Shiswabula Enterprises was not entitled to the said payment and went beyond the role required of him, passing his company documents to Natanga for illicit use in accessing government funds, which was a criminal act according to Justice Tibulya.
Evidence further showed that some coffee seedlings were supplied at some stage, probably after investigations had commenced, in an attempt to cover up the accused’s tracks.
It was against this background the justice Tibulya ruled that each of the accused is disqualified from serving in a public office for 10 years from today.