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PENSION: Lwamafa, Obey and Kunsa verdict today

Pensions scam suspects (L-R) Jimmy Lwamafa, Kiwanuka Kunsa and Christopher Obey
Pensions scam suspects (L-R) Jimmy Lwamafa, Kiwanuka Kunsa and Christopher Obey

The Anti-corruption Court will today decide the fate of three former officials of Ministry of Public Service in the Pensions Scam case.

The three former officials of Ministry of Public Service currently on remand in Luzira prison, are accused of irregularly budgeting sh88 billion for NSSF and paying it to ghost pension pensioners.

Jimmy Lwamafa who was then Permanent Secretary, together with Christopher Obey then Principal Accountant and Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa then Commissioner Compensation Department, were indicted with 10 counts that include causing financial loss, abuse of office,false accounting, conspiracy to defraud and diversion of public funds.

They were then denied bail on grounds that they would flee the country since they knew the evidence against them by the state, and have been on trial since November 2015. The alleged crime took place over two financial years of 2010/11 and 2011/12

Justice Lawrence Gidudu is set to deliver the judgement, but he is not bound by the earlier decision of the two court Assessors who advised him to acquit the accused officials.

The assessors in the corruption case in September advised the Anti-Corruption Court to find them innocent and acquit them of all charges.

Prosecution maintains the said money was paid to ghost pensioners, and that the accused officials were responsible for authorizing this same payment.  The said the officials requisitoned for the said money well knowing public servants do not contribute to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) pension scheme.

In the opinion of the two assessors, Vincent Okech and Stanley Kurong, no evidence has been adduced by prosecution to show that the said  item NSSF was ever discussed in any meeting  included in the accused’s work plan and budgetary estimates for financial years 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 as  alleged.

They explained that the accused only  requisitioned for funds for gratuity and pension of teachers, soldiers and beneficiaries of the East African Community, but not NSSF.

They add that the evidence on record, regarding  the entry of data in the Output Budget Tool (OBT) at the Ministry of finance, shows that only the then Assistant Commissioner Policy and Planning  Joses Tegyeza had access to the payment system since he was the officer nominated from Public Service to go and enter data.

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editor@independent.co.ug

 

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