Police probe poisoning claims at top ministry


Police have deployed more detectives to investigate Local Government ministry officials over the disappearance bid documents related to the construction of a Shs6b market project.

The money was gazzetted for the construction of markets in 10 urban centres, across the country between the 200809 and 201213 Financial Years. However, it is alleged that details documenting the bid process were stolen from Local Government Ministry offices, according to top officials.

The detectives are also investigating alleged poisoning of Mr Apollo Bamwesigye, the Local Government ministry’s senior principal stores assistant, who had disputed the version given by some of his seniors that the stolen files were under his custody.

The director CIID, Ms Grace Akullo, confirmed investigation of the two cases as well as ordering for an inquiry into how police detectives have been investigating the case after receiving daily allowances from the Local Government ministry. “Yes, we were told the store was broken and files stolen. So we are investigating to know who stole them and how some of our colleagues carried out their investigations,” Mr Akullo said.

Since 2011, the CIID has been investigating mismanagement of billions of shillings meant for the construction of markets and seminars in the Local Government ministry, following scathing revelations in the Auditor General’s report, that there was no value for money.

Some of the stolen files are part of the documents police requested for from the Permanent Secretary, Mr Patrick Mutabwire, in June 2012, but had not been handed over, to-tode.
According to a whistle-blowers’ account in a letter to President Museveni, which Daily Monitor has seen, the files were systematically removed and then a break-in case was reported at Kampala Metropolitan Police to fail earlier investigations.

In a dossier dated May 29, the whistle-blower’s claimed before the documents were stolen, the archive stores were put in the hands of the ministry’s procurement disposal unit from the registry.
But Mr Mutabwire said the four officials, including Mr Bamwesigye, had been interdicted for the loss of these documents.

The whistle-blowers said they started seeing strangers’ picking and carrying files from the archives. On May 15, Mr Mutabwire reported the case at Kampala Metropolitan Police and investigations were started.

Mr Bamwesigye and a senior office supervisor, Solome Nabyonga were arrested, but the whistle-blowers claim the duo wasn’t in charge of the archives. “Apollo is in charge of supplies store under the Ministry of Finance. His stores aren’t related to archivesSolome has nothing to do with the documents since they aren’t required in the day to day operations of the ministry,” they stated in their dossier.

It is alleged that senior ministry officials requested for Shs4.9m to facilitate police officers in their work, which is illegal.

Ms Akullo said Kampala Metropolitan Police officers have already been summoned to record their statements. Five detectives are investigating the theft of the documents. Mr Mutabwire admitted authorising the payment of the detectives, which he called “facilitation” to the police detectives to do their work.

Other accusations

The whistle blower’s letter to the President also says Mr Mutabwire blocked Mr Julius Kitinisa, a procurement officer who had been posted to the ministry of Local Government by the Office of Accountant General. Mr Mutabwire yesterday admitted having stopped Mr Kitinisa from accessing office, but did not give the reasons as to why. “I have discussed this issue with the Secretary to the Treasury and the Accountant General,” Mr Mutwabwire said.

However, in a February 14 letter, the Accountant General Mr Lawrence Ssemakula, said Mr Mutabwire’s reasons for blocking Mr Kitinisa, on the account that Ms Yerusa Nyangoma, the officer he was supposed to replace had unfinished projects in the ministry, were not convincing. “In the interest of public service Ms Yerusa Nyangoma should report to her new duty station without further delay,” he wrote. Mr Mutabwire declined to implement this order, prompting an investigation by the IGG, who ordered that the PS complies with the directive. Mr Kitinisa, who was by yesterday yet to report to office said he does not know why he had been refused to access the office.


SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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