19 July 2015

Uganda: IGG to Probe Shs400 Million Bomb Detector for Kadaga

Kampala — The Inspector General of Government has received a petition from whistleblower alleging that the police ICT director received at least Shs450m to purportedly procure and install a security device called a bomb jammer into Speaker Rebecca Kadaga's vehicle following information of a plot to assassinate her, but the money was shared without buying the equipment.

The IGG, Ms Irene Mulyagonja, confirmed receiving the petition but said she had not decided whether to open investigations into the matter.

"No decision has been taken. But I can say that we received that information on Wednesday and we are yet to decide whether to investigate the matter or not," she told Sunday Monitor yesterday.

According to the whistleblower, the planned purchase which he says never occurred, was triggered by intelligence reports that the life of the Speaker of Parliament was in danger.

Purchase approved

"On November 26, 2012, the Right Honourable Speaker Rebecca Kadaga chaired a meeting in which she approved the purchase of something called ICT Detection Kit. The Speaker was acting on a letter from Mr Amos Ngabirano, the ICT director in police. In his letter, Mr Ngabirano had alerted the Speaker about threats to her life from bombs and explosives hence the urgent need for the ICT Detection Kit," the whistleblower wrote to the IGG.

However, Mr Ngabirano dismissed the claims and insisted the said security equipment was procured and installed as agreed.

The whistleblower further submits that subsequent to the meeting chaired by Ms Kadaga, at least Shs450m was wired to the classified police account in Bank of Uganda. The whistleblower alleges that the money was withdrawn from the classified account by a police undersecretary (name withheld) and taken to Naguru where it was shared.

"Whatever madam (Ms Kadaga) wanted, was procured. That's classified procurement I cannot give more details," Mr Ngabirano said.

Mr Ngabirano also dismissed the claims that his colleague withdrew the money from the police's classified account in Bank of Uganda, saying he has no powers to withdraw such money from a classified account.

The whistleblower further tells the IGG there is no such equipment called ICT Detection Kit that exists. "Therefore, this was a hoax to defraud the Rt Hon Speaker. Nothing was bought," the whistleblower states.

When Ms Kadaga was asked to confirm whether the jammer was procured, she declined to comment on the matter. She referred us to the Clerk of Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirige, who handles such transactions.

"Issues to do with money, ask the clerk," Ms Kadaga said. Ms Kibirige confirmed the money was wired to the police classified bank account but said she did not know whether the equipment was procured or not.

"I don't know the exact date because it's a Saturday and I'm not in office to check the documents. But the money was wired to the police classified account," Ms Kibirige said.

When asked whether the equipment was procured, Ms Kibirige said Parliament does not handle classified procurements. "You ask the police director of ICT. He is the one who handled the procurement process," she said. Director of Communications at Bank of Christine Alupo said she was in a meeting and unable to comment.

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