13 November 2012

Uganda: 70 Officials Quizzed in Connection With Pension Scam

Over 70 officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have recorded statements at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) as part of the ongoing probe of reported fraud in the OPM during 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 financial years.

The Police are investigating cases of forgery, conspiracy to cause financial loss, embezzlement, abuse of office and illicit accumulation of wealth by officials of the OPM.

Following complaints by several suspects who cited press harassment, a sizeable number of detectives from the CIID in Kibuli have since last week camped at SIU headquarters in Kireka last week to interrogate the suspects.

The CIID director, Grace Akullo, said: "In the space of one week, over 70 officials from OPM have recorded statements with the Police."

Akullo added that the officials had been freed on Police bond over charges of failing to account for the funds.

She said the officials who have recorded their first statements at the Police are Vicent Waboya, the principal disaster preparedness officer for northern Uganda; Abdul Muwanika, the principal economist monitoring and evaluation as well as Cyprian Dhikusoka, the principal disaster management officer.

Others are Raphael Lubega, the assistant secretary in the department of pacification and development; Benon Kigenyi, the principal assistant secretary for northern Uganda and Sansa Mugenyi, the commissioner for policy implementation and co-ordination.

Others are Johnson Owaro, the technical advisor on agricultural matters for Karamoja region and Richard Owiny, a senior personal assistant.

However, Akullo declined to comment further on the matter, saying it would jeopardise the ongoing investigations.

"These people do not want media coverage and since SIU is part of CIID, it is still similar work done and most of the officials have recorded statements which have helped in speeding the Police investigations," Akullo said.

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