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Records assistant grilled as Byandala Katosi case resumes

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Hearing in a case in which former works minister and MP Katikamu North Eng.Abraham Byandala and five others are accused of causing financial loss of over sh24.7b meant for the upgrade of Mukono-Katosi road, resumed on Tuesday.

A records assistant in the Ministry of Works and Transport Hellen Kabagenyi told the Anti-corruption Court that she received in time the Inspector General of Government’s letter directing  Minster Abraham Byandala  to halt the Mukono Katosi road works. The IGG’s letter stated that investigations had discovered some fraud in the said deal.

Kabagenyi told presiding Judge Lawrence Gidudu that she received the said letter dated July 17 2014  on July 18 2014 and dispatched it to the minister’s office where Byandala’s secretary a one Matilda  received and signed for it.

However, cross examined by Byandala’s lawyer Nsubuga Mubiru,  Kabagenyi could not confirm if the minister actually received the said letter. In reply, she told court how the secretary would be in the best position to tell.

Byandala is charged with disobeying lawful orders of the IGG when he directed the continuation of the said works despite IGG’s directive to halt the works.

Byandala is jointly charged with five others for abuse of office and causing government a loss of over sh24billion in the Mukono-Katosi road saga.

Others include three former Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) officials Berunado Ssebbugga, 54, (former Acting Executive Director), Joe Ssemugooma, 54, (Acting director finance and Administration), Marvin Baryaruha, 45, (legal counsel).

Others are city businessman Apolo Senkeeto, 45,  and ,former Housing Finance Bank officials Isaac Mugote and Mark Kalyesubula.

Meanwhile court rejected prosecution witness Harriet Tukamushaba, a principal state attorney in solicitor general’s office, citing the defence team’s protests of an ambush.

Defence lawyer David Mpanga informed court of how the said witness had never been disclosed to them as required by law.

Tukamushaba is said to have cleared the Mukono-Katosi contract  UNRA signed with Eutaw.

The case was later adjourned to Wednesday, September 21 for further hearing .

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