22 January 2013

Uganda: PS Bigirimana 'Refuses' to Record Police Statement

Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister on Monday reportedly declined to record and sign a statement with the Police.

The Office of the Prime Minister is under investigation over a sh50b fraud.

The director Criminal Investigations, Grace Akullo on Monday told New Vision that detectives interrogated Bigirimana last week but he has since refused to sign a statement.

The PS allegedly opted to offer verbal explanations.

When contacted on Monday, Bigirimana said: "Tell me which police officer told you about this. Call the director CIID to give you more details because she is aware."

The New Vision last week reported that Bigirimana had been quizzed by two CIID Police detectives for six hours at the Postel building last Tuesday.

Bigirimana is allegedly cited being treated as a suspect not as a whistle blower and faulted this as the reason why he would not record and sign the statements.

However, when the Police insisted on recording statements, the PS then reportedly accepted to only speak as they write, prompting the Police to seek advice from higher authorities.

The statements in connection with the sh20.1b that was diverted from the Peace Recovery and development Programme (PRDP), sh1.8b that was channelled to the Crisis Management account that purchased cars for Ministers and on sh6b fuel funds.

The Police allege that the PRDP budget was suffocated and the funds were embezzled for project activities in Northern Uganda for financial year 2011-2012.

They questioned Bigirimana, seeking explanations on the irregular transfers and alleged embezzlement of the funds that were allegedly deposited on personal accounts of OPM officials.

This move comes after Police launched an investigation into OPM that Bigirimana illicitly authorised and allegedly diverted funds to personal accounts of officials in the OPM.

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