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MTK officials remanded for defrauding gov’t over UGX 1 billion

MTK officials  remanded to Luzira over obtaining money by false pretense, forgery and conspiracy to defraud. PHOTO via @AntiGraft_SH

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Anti-Corruption Court has remanded three officials of MTK Uganda Limited, a private firm on corruption related charges. MTK specializes in Animal health, Human health, Public health and Crop Protection.

The officials are Fiona Migadde Kitaka, the Chief Executive Officer MTK Uganda Limited, Dr. Francis Kitaka Jr, the Operations Manager and Commercial officer, Alex Natukunda. The trio appeared Wednesday before the Anti-Corruption Court Grade One Magistrate, Moses Nabendeh.

They were charged with causing financial loss to government, conspiracy to defraud and forgery have been read to them. It is alleged that Dr. Kitaka, Natukunda and others still at large while in Kampala in June supplied 190,000 doses of fortivax (inactivated foot and mouth vaccine) worth shillings 1,095,353,800 to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

They reportedly claimed the vaccine had been manufactured by Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVEVAPI), which was false. According to prosecution, the action of the trio caused government a financial loss of more than Shillings 1 billion.

The money was reportedly received by Fiona Migadde Kitaka  through her bank account in Barclays Bank from the Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministry after she falsely claimed to have supplied the said vaccine whereas not.

Prosecution also alleged that Natukunda and Dr. Kitaka and others still at large forged a Certificate of Analysis for fortivax Batch number KO1423 dated April 11th, 2019 purporting the same had been issued by KEVAPI.  The State further contends that the accused persons also with intentions to deceive the government of Uganda forged packaging boxes of the said vaccines claiming that the same had been made by KEVAPI.

The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for bail through their lawyer, Charles Semakula Muganwa.  They argued that it’s their constitutional right to apply for bail and presented several sureties.

However, the Magistrate Nabende remanded them to Luzira Prisons until August 30th, 2019 when he will deliver his ruling on their bail application. The State Prosecutor, Abigail Agaba told court that the investigations into the matter are incomplete.

The group was picked up by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema.

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