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OPM officials arrested for inflating COVID-19 relief food cost

FILE PHOTO: Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Several officials from the Office of the Prime Minister have been arrested for allegedly over-inflating prices and rejecting low price offers from suppliers.

The officers arrested by the Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit, include Christine  Kintu, Joel Wanjala, Fred Lutimba, and Owor Martin, the  Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Management who also doubles as the head of COVID-19 relief management team.

Lt. Col Edith Nakalema, the head of the Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit notes that her unit carried out a special investigation on the on-going COVID-19 food procurement exercise and established that the accounting officers in the Office of the Prime Minister were inflating prices for maize flour and beans procured as relief food for vulnerable families.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire says that police are going to interrogate the arrested officials as well as the suppliers who claim to have lower food prices whose offers were allegedly rejected.

The government revealed its plans of distribution of food and other essential items to 1.5 million people in Kampala and Wakiso district, in a move aimed at averting hunger and starvation among vulnerable communities and families whose livelihood was affected by the ongoing lockdown.

Each beneficiary is receiving three kilograms of beans, six kilograms of flour and salt. Lactating mothers and the sick were to be given two kilograms of powdered milk and two kilograms of sugar.

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