29 December 2012

Uganda: PS Bigirimana Snubs Police Probe

Plans by the Police to interrogate Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister in connection with the alleged irregular transfer of sh1.8b hit a snag after Bigirimana failed to turn up.

He allegedly cited being treated as a suspect not "whistle blower" and faulted this as to why he would not be available saying he can be available on January 10.

However, when the police pressed, Bigirimana reportedly accepted to be interrogated on January 2. Sources said Bigirimana was reportedly riled by media reports that he was scheduled to be interrogated by the police on Friday and thus declined to play ball.

This move comes after Police launched an investigation into OPM that Bigirimana illicitly authorised and diverted sh1.8b to the Crisis Management Account without the authority of the permanent secretary treasury, Chris Kasami.

The funds were diverted from the sh20.1b that had been earmarked for PRDP activities in northern Uganda for financial year 2011-2012.

As a result, the Police attached to CIID alleged that Bigirimana diverted sh1.8b and authorised the purchase of a motor vehicle for the Prime Minister and other Ministers under the OPM by himself.

The director CIID, Grace Akullo, confirmed that detectives were investigating the matter, but declined to comment further. "The investigating officer is yet to brief me on the matter before I can comment about the matter," Akullo said.

In an interview, Bigirimana denied snubbing to record a statement with the Police.

"Call the director CIID to find out about the matter. "I have not refused to record a statement with the Police," Bigirimana said.

However, efforts to seek a comment about Bigirimana snubbing police interrogations from director CIID were futile as she was in a series of meeting.

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