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Three remanded for theft of UGX 440M in software scam

Julius Mugambagye and High Court Advocate Akleo Mugisha appearing in court. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three people are on remand at Kitalya prison in Wakiso district for conspiring to steal more than Shillings 444 million belonging to Uganda Nurses and Mid Wives Council. They are Engineer Julius Mugambagye, the proprietor Ram Engineering Uganda Limited, Ivan Kayuiki, a businessman and High Court Advocate Akleo Mugisha.

The trio appeared on Friday before Buganda road magistrate’s court on charges of theft and conspiracy to defraud Shillings 444 million. Court presided over by Grade One Magistrate, Marion Mangeni heard that on February 14, 2020 in Kampala, the suspects together with others still at large stole Shillings 444 million from Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council-UNMC.

The accused reportedly got the money following an ex parte court order issued by the interdicted Masaka High Court registrar, Cissy Mudhasi in favour of Ram Engineering Uganda Limited and an arbitrator only identified as I. Tugumisirize. Court records show that the council contracted RAM engineering limited to develop software and database app that would be shared and used by the council members.

According to Ram Engineer, the contract was valued at Shillings 440 million in a meeting of October 2, 2016, and was endorsed by Betty Aliba, the UNMC senior accountant officer on behalf of the council. However, the accused persons allegedly connived with some leaders of the council and petitioned court for payment for no work done.

They obtained an order which saw the money in question deposited on the account of Ram Engineering limited whose only signatory is Julius Mugambagye. The money was part of the Shillings 4.2 billion that was first stolen by former Public Service Ministry, Principal Accountant, Christopher Obey who was jailed for his role in the pension scam.

The money was later deposited on a fictitious bank account in the names of Butabika Nursing and Midwives Association in Stanbic Bank Garden City Branch on March 29, 2013. The account was reportedly opened by Betty Aliba, the Senior Accountant Officer UNMC, Moses Olinga the Accountant and Mercy Muwema Mwanja.

However, Shillings 444 million was suspiciously transferred to Housing Finance Bank account number 0100621608 in the names of RAM Engineering Uganda Limited on February 2, 2020, through a dubious court process involving the council leaders and lawyers.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded to Kitalya prisons pending the hearing of their bail application. This is not the first time Ram Engineering is implicated in a financial scam. A few months ago, it was implicated in a case involving Makerere University after Cissy Mudhasi gave them ex parte orders to attach more than Shillings 3 billion from the university account in Stanbic Bank.



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