Byandala granted 10m cash bail

Former works and transport Minister Abraham Byandala was on Monday granted bail after spending six days in jail.

Mr Byandala, now a minister without portfolio, was arrested  last Tuesday and produced in the Anti-corruption Court, which remanded him to Luzira Prisons until August 11.

However, Presiding Principal Grade One Magistrate Julius Borore of the Anti-corruption Court granted Shs10 million cash bail to Mr Byandala. His sureties, including MP James Kakooza, were bonded Shs100m each, non-cash.  

Four other co-accused also granted bail included former Ag. Executive Director Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze former Ag Director Finance and Administration Joe Ssemugooma, former legal Counsel Marvin Baryaruha, and businessman Apolo Senkeeto, alias Mark Kalyesubula, and former banker with Housing Finance Isaac Mugote.

Court also ordered Mr Byandala to deposit his passport.

According to the charge sheet by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja, Mr Byandala as works minister is accused of abuse of office by a November 14, 2013 letter, when he directed the immediate signing of the contract between UNRA and American construction firm EUTAW that was contracted to upgrade Katosi Road in Mukono District, yet the company lacked the requisite capacity.

The IGG also accuses Mr Byandala, who was dropped as Works minister in March this year, of having, in an August 27, 2014 letter, abused his office by ordering continuation of work on the Mukono-Katosi road by Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO).

The ombudsman said in so doing, Mr Byandala formalised an illegal sub-contract of the work with CICO by ensuring that an agreement is signed between EUTAW and CICO, thereby authorising UNRA to pay CICO directly well knowing that EUTAW had breached its contract with UNRA and yet the IGG had already halted the same process.