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Court To Hear Bail Application Of OPM Staff Accused Of Inflating COVID-19 Relief Food Today

Four Officials in the Office of the Prime Minister accused of irregularities in the procurement of the Covid-19 relief food appeared before the Anti-corruption court in Kololo on Monday to answer  24 counts that include; Abuse of Office, fraudulent false accounting and Corruption.

However, they did not taken plea before presiding Grade One Magistrate, Sarah Namusobya because the issue of whether their bail granted by Buganda road court in April this year will be extended by the trial court (Anti-corruption court) or they have to apply afresh, since Buganda road court has no powers to try them. It only informed them of the charges they were facing due to then prevailing circumstances of the COVID-19 Nation wide Lock-down.

On 8th this month, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) amended charges against them and they were informed  by Buganda road court Magistrate Doreen Karungi of how their case file was  going to be transferred to the Anti-corruption court in Kololo which has Jurisdiction to try them.

Through their Lawyers led by McDusman Kabega, they applied to come back today 28th/July/2020 with their sureties; which request Magistrate Namusobya allowed and ordered them to appear at 10:30 prompt.

The accused persons include Permanent Secretary Guwatudde Christine Kintu together with the Assistant Commissioner (Head of Procurement and Disposal Unit) Lutimba Kyeyune Fred who are facing more charges in which its alleged that in abuse of the authority of their respective offices; they prepared and issued an award letter to various companies to supply maize, beans, milk, sugar amounting to 32.340.000.000 billion shs in total disregard of the procurement procedure.

They allegedly committed the Offence between 31st/March and 9th/April/2020 at OPM offices along Sir Apollo Kaggwa road from where Lutimba Kyeyune Fred is further alleged to have neglected to perform his duty of advising the contracts committee on procurement procedures which omission amounted to Corruption.

The other accused persons include the Under Secretary-Joel Wanjala and the  Commissioner in charge of relief Disaster Preparedness and Head of the covid 19 Relief Management- Martin Owor.

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