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Mukono-Katosi Road case resumes

Former minister Byandala among accused

Hearing of the case in which  five people including former works Minister Eng.Abraham Byandala  are accsued in the Mukono-Katosi road saga, resumed Friday before the Anti-Corruption court.

Defence Lawyers led by Peter Mulira cross examined the Senior Inspectorate Officer in the IGG’s office Lisa Mwagale, who investigated this case .

Mwagale told presiding judge Lawrence Gidudu that Minister Byandala and others, some of them are UNRA officials, should be blamed for having caused Uganda a loss of over sh24 billion in the upgrade of the Mukono-Katosi road.

Mwagale mantains that Inspector General of Government (IGG) noticed an illegality in the award of the Katosi contract to Eutaw Florida who did not go through the bidding process,  and stopped the said works in July 2014  but Minister Byandala through a letter he wrote to his State Minister John Byabagambi, insisted that the works should continue.

According to the Investigating officer, it was Eutaw Mississipi that went through the bidding process and won the tender.

Byandala’s woes started after the IGG , in a report, revealed that he directed the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to expeditiously sign the sh165b Mukono-Katosi road deal with a non-existent contractor.  The sh24.7b was advance payment released to kick-start the work.

According to a July 17, 2014 letter signed by IGG Justice Irene Mulyagonja, Byandala also Katikamu North member of parliament on November 14, 2013, directed the UNRA accounting officer to implement the contract for the civil works and upgrading of Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi-Nyenga road from gravel to bitumen.

It was established that Eutaw Construction Company, which won the tender, was not the real Eutaw based in the US, but was only used by conmen. A one Appolo Senkeeto posed as Eutaw’s country representative.

The 74km Mukono-Katosi-Nyenga road was a campaign pledge by President Yoweri Museveni ahead of the 1996 presidential polls.

The other suspects charged before the Kololo-based court included Berunado Kimeze, 54, the former acting executive director of UNRA, Joe Ssemugooma, 54, the former acting director finance and administration at UNRA, Mr Apollo Senkeeto, alias Mark Kalyesubula, 45, a businessman and Isaac Mugote, former banker with Housing Finance Bank Ltd.

Mwagale is the 22nd witness to testify in this case. After hearing him, the matter was adjourned to March 28,2017 for further cross examination of this witness.

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editor@independent.co.ug

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