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Pension scam case takes new twist as lawyers accuse each other

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

City lawyer John Matovu has accused colleague Bob Kasango of conniving with Public Service Ministry officials to defraud government of sh15.4 billion.

Matovu made the allegations before Justice Margaret Tibulya as the hearing of new fraud charges in the pension scam case resumed at the Anti-Corruption Court on Wednesday.

New fraud charges were placed on Public Service officials, former permanent secretary Ministry of Public Service Jimmy Lwamafa, Christopher Obey (former principal accountant) and Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa (former director for research and development) for diverting government resources, theft, forgery and conspiracy to steal more than sh15.4 billion.

They are charged jointly with Kampala lawyer Kasango and a one Milton Mutegeya, a court clerk.

The senior Public Service officials are already on remand in Luzira prison over the sh88.2 billion pension scam.

On Wednesday, Matovu told the Anti-Corruption court that Kasango connived with officials from the Public Service Ministry to defraud government of sh15.4 bn pensioners money.

Matovu of Matovu and Matovu company advocates testified that this happened after he successfully filed a suit against government on behalf of over 6339 pensioners in 1999. The pensioners were awarded sh15.4 bn as damages by the High court.

Matovu told Lady Justice Tibulya that court also awarded him 3.9 bn shillings as legal fees for representing these pensioners.

He said he then instructed Kasango through his law firm, Marble and Partners that later changed names to Hall and Partners, to help pursue the fees. Matovu said that he believed that Kasango, having friends in NRM and government circles, would help him recover his costs.

Matovu told court Kasango gave him only sh 1.2 bn shillings and an old motor vehicle out of
the 3.9 bn shillings he was supposed to give him.

Matovu further testified that one morning he was shocked to learn from newspapers that Kasango’s defunct law firm of Hall and Partners had been paid sh15 bn from government on behalf of pensioners yet it had not participated in the said case.

He told court that he found out Kasango had written a letter to the Public Service Ministry demanding payment of the sh15 bn and legal fees of 3.9 bn shillings as counsel who represented the pensioners.

 

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