Connect with us
  • CRIME

    Ministry Of Trade PS Ssali Faces Arrest Over Fraudulent Gov’t Deals …

    Published

    on

    PS Ministry of Trade Geraldine Ssali

    The chairperson of the parliamentary committee on trade Mwine Mpaka has issued criminal summons against Geraldine Ssali the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Trade to appear before his committee or face arrest.

    Mpaka explained that severally, his committee has been summoning Ssali to appear before the parliamentary committee to explain a number of issues concerning the procurement of vehicles of top ministry officials and renting of the ministry offices where irregularities have been cited.

    Appearing before Mpaka’s committee on Monday, Alfred Lapyam the former head of procurement in the ministry of trade revealed that he was fired from his office after challenging the illegal process which was being used to procure five vehicles that were supposed to be used by  top officials in the ministry.

    He alleges that Ssali turned furious when he told her to first write to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development who is also the Secretary to the Treasury to guide on the deal.

    However, she rubbished his advice telling him that she is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and there is no need to write to her counterpart in the ministry of finance explaining because she has the powers to approve the transaction.

    He claimed that after being illegally fired and his name deleted from the ministry system, a one Opio, an office attendant in the ministry of trade was given the responsibility of leading the procurement process of the said vehicles.

    Lapyam’s testimony was supported by Katerere County legislator Hetwib Katoto who said that the said vehicles price is not Shs600m each as Ssali claims but Shs400m each according to his investigation on Google.

    He added that Ssali violated the 2003 standing order that obligates government entities to first get permission from the PS in the Ministry of Finance to purchase vehicles.

    Everest Ahimbisibwe, the former Principal Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Trade told the committee that Ssali told them that she wanted them to be procured within the shortest period of time and it is the reason why the deal was removed from Maybach.

    The committee also received the report from the Ministry of Works and Transport after inspecting the said vehicles and establishing that they were valued at Shs500m each.

    Mpaka also wants Ssali to explain how she used Shs5bn which was allocated to her ministry for renting offices, Shs3bn for fitting and Shs2bn for infrastructure in the event that the ministry shifted to a new building.

    Ahimbisibwe told the committee that when President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni appointed Ssali as Permanent Secretary to the ministry trade, she cancelled the rent plan and told them that they should renovate Farmer’s House, a building that houses the ministry right now.

    Mpaka said that Ssali paid Shs6.9bn for renovation of the said building even though Shs3.9bn was quoted as the cost for the job.

    However, through her twitter handle, Ssali explained that the process of procuring the said vehicles Registration Number UG 0465T manufactured in 2021, mileage 41 KL, UG 0466T manufactured in 2021, mileage 28, UG 0467T manufactured 2020, mileage 105, UG 0468T, manufacture 2020, mileage 75 and UG 0475T, manufactured in 2020, mileage 75 followed the necessary legal procedure which include comprehensive inspection reports and approval from the Solicitor General.

    She insisted that the procurement process was carried out through fair and transparent bidding processes and underwent thorough scrutiny by the Ministry of Works and Transport.

    She explained that they used Shs2.8bn to purchase the brand new vehicles after the old one had become outdated and regularly experienced mechanical failures.

    She added that the Solicitor General further approved the renovation of the Farmer’s House which was in a dilapidated condition and restricted bidding was done to ensure compliance with the PPDA Act and Shs5bn was used on the job.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    CRIME

    Stanbic Bank In Trouble, Client Petitions Court After She Was Defrauded Of Shs68m Via Flexi Pay…

    Published

    on

    Stanbic Bank CEO Anne Jjuuko whose bank is under fire

    Nakku Joweria a resident of Kyebando has sued Stanbic Bank Uganda limited for failing in its duty of protecting her saving account leading to defrauding her of shillings 68 million which was withdrawn from her account in a period of 24 hours through Flexi pay an application she had never registered for.

    In a court case filed before the Commercial division of the High Court of Uganda and coming up for directions in the registrar Christa Namutebi’s chambers, on the 24th June, 2024 at 9:40am, Nakku Joweria through his lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates contends that between 7th and 8th February, 2023, there was unauthorized withdrawal of 68 million shillings from her savings account No. 903000026244 via the Flexi Pay Banking, a platform of Stanbic Bank and a total of 28 unauthorized transactions were conducted by fraudsters who fraudulently accessed her account undetected by the bank.

    She questions how a savings account which had a transaction limit was significantly exceeded during the unauthorized and undetected fraudulent transactions which led to her losing her’ money.

    “Our client has been a loyal client of Stanbic bank since 2001 way before the implementation of the FlexiPay system and at no point did she sign up for or activate the flexi pay on her savings account. The 28 unauthorized withdrawals from our clients account using four unknown Airtel lines raises serious questions and/ or lapses on the part of the bank for which we hold the bank specifically liable for the loss since it was in a better position to detect and prevent this fraud had it exercised reasonable care to detect these suspicious 28 unauthorized transactions that took place within 24 hours on a savings account that was rarely operated by our client,” reads the documents in parts.

    She also questions the effectiveness of the bank’s authentication protocols with their flexi pay system, effectiveness of the transaction monitoring to the extent of allowing 28 unauthorized transactions within 24 hours using four unknown Airtel lines and significantly exceeding the account limit.

    Nakku wants court to direct Stanbic Bank to reimburse 68 million to her account that was fraudulently withdrawn and pay her the costs and damages.

    On 6th February 2023, Nakku Joweria lost her phones to the robbers on her way to work at around 9pm. She reported the incident to police at 9am and to the telecom companies on the 7th February 2023.

    However, the telecom companies MTN and Airtel couldn’t process the new simcards because she had misplaced her original National Identity card.

    The robbers used her MTN number to open up a wallet on the Flexi pay which number had four other Airtel numbers that don’t belong to her which they used to make 28 unauthorized withdraws of 68 million shillings from her Stanbic bank saving account on the 7th and 8th February in a space of only 24 hours.

    When she went to withdraw some money from her account on the 6th, March 2023 that’s when she realized that her money was fraudulently withdrawn from her account.

    She wrote to the bank manager complaining about the matter and the bank promised to do thorough investigations to reveal how the money was withdrawn by the fraudsters.

    Through her lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates, she wrote a demand notice to Stanbic Bank manager to reimburse her money since it was their weakness and fault for failure to efficiently protect her account.

    The bank through Twine Arnold, the senior legal advisor, Risk and Dispute Management wrote back with an out of court settlement request.

    However, the bank had proposed to reimburse only 34 million out of the 68 million on the premise that the settlement shall not be taken as admission of liability by any of the parties, a proposal she rejected and instead thought for legal redress in the commercial court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    CRIME

    INSIDE STORY: How Top Legislators Shared $5m Vitol Oil Deal Bribe; Intelligence Warns M7 On How Corrupt Officials Can Cause Downfall Of His Gov’t…

    Published

    on

    Yusuf Mutembuli (Bunyole East), Paul Akamba (Busiki county) and Cissy Namujju (Lwengo Woman MP) who were charged with corruption

    During the State of Nation Address, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni revealed that he is very careful when dealing with corrupt government officials.

    Museveni however explained that if he fires or imprisons all of them, who will he work with in his government.

    Highly placed sources in one of the highly feared intelligence agency told theGrapevine that Museveni made the said statement after reading a well detailed dossier on how government officials especially those from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development connive with senior Members of Parliament and heads of government agencies to fuel corruption in the country.

    Through the said report, Museveni established that his government officials and MPs own multibillion properties locally and internationally and most of them are registered in shudder companies and names of their relatives.

    Details in the report authored by the said intelligence agency matched with the details in the private report authored by Museveni’s trusted seasoned diplomat who revealed the particulars of the properties and companies owned by government officials abroad.

    Museveni instructed his trusted diplomat to author for him the said report after the United Kingdom sanctioned the Speaker of Parliament Annet Anita Among maintaining that he owns fat bank accounts, owns a house abroad and is a big spender.

    It was also revealed that Among has children who are studying from good schools in their country insisting that investigations made by United Kingdom intelligence established that all the money Among used to purchase, buy and educate her children is as a result of corruption.

    However, in his letter to speaker Among, Museveni asked the speaker to confirm to him whether the house in the United Kingdom is owned by her or she is just renting it.

    Among publicly disowned the said house and properties insisting that Rishi Sunak’s government was giving forged documents to President Museveni to cement their allegations that she owns properties in their country.

    She maintained that she doesn’t even own a pussycat in their country.

    Because of the sanctions against the speaker, Museveni directed further investigation in alleged corruption in parliament and more rot was discovered which included $5m Vitol Oil Company bribe.

    Highly placed sources claim that when the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka started the process of legalizing the monopoly of selling oil in Uganda and all the powers be given to Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), Swiss based Vitol Oil Company also kicked off the process of taking the deal.

    Sources claim that a number of senior legislators especially lawyers and those sitting on the parliamentary legal committee were approached and they accepted the deal of fighting for the interest of their company to be chosen as the only oil company to sell fuel to UNOC.

    “When the president was in Kenya recently, President Ruto complained that Kenyan companies lost the deal to supply fuel to UNOC because of corruption. The President was preaching the cooperation of the East Africa countries and was shocked because Ruto had all the evidence implicating top government officials and legislators. What the President is doing is to punish those greedy people who placed him in bad light,” a source said.

    Museveni struggled to convince President William Ruto to accept the issuing of the operation license to UNOC because Kenyans were very bitter with the way they lost the multibillion oil deal in Uganda.

    Museveni government and that of Ruto also signed other deals in agriculture and trade and with immediate effect Museveni direct Kiryowa Kiwanuka to withdraw the case Uganda had filed in the East African Court of Justice against the government of Kenya.

    Sources claim that $5m bribe was paid to legislators in installments and legislators especially those on parliamentary committees received their share in installments.

    It should be noted that among the legislators who are currently in detention include; Yusuf Mutembuli, the Bunyole East Member of Parliament and also the vice chairperson of the parliamentary legal committee; Cissy Namujju Donozio the Lwengo district woman legislator and Paul Akamba the Busiki County legislator.

    The trio were yesterday charged have with corruption and they pleaded not guilty. Court records indicate they solicited a percentage share of the Uganda Human Rights Commission’s 2024/25 budget, promising to influence its increase.

    However, just like legislators, top government officials are also panicking over the ongoing investigation against them plus Museveni himself.

    Sources disclosed that because of the scare, it is the reason why Museveni has summoned the National Resistance Movement (NRM) top party organ the Central Executive Committee (CEC) for an emergency meeting on Friday.

    Emmauael Lumala Ddombo the NRM Director for Communication and Information confirmed the said meeting noting that there was a serious decision which was not taken during the Monday meeting which was chaired by Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo the National Vice chairperson.

    Ddombo declined to reveal the decision which was not taken and why they need the guidance of their chairperson.

    Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi the NRM vice chairperson in charge of Buganda told theGrapevine that the president has started biting the corrupt and they will all support him in this struggle.

    He added Museveni has to act on corruption very seriously because it is going to be a strong factor in the coming elections.

    Sources allege that Museveni is going to use the said meeting to share evidence he has received on the huge corruption in parliament with CEC members and a decision will be taken on how to handle the situation.

    Sources said that the decision which is going to be taken is likely going to affect Speaker Among and Adolf Mwesigye the Clark to parliament since they have slept on the job as legislators used their positions to place the country in bad light.

    Museveni is also expected to brief CEC concerning the advice he received from intelligence who warned him that if he doesn’t properly handle the issue of corruption, it can cause the downfall of his government since these government officials can facilitate and sponsor candidates against NRM in the 2026 general elections, sponsor rioters and demonstrators hence creating insecurity in the country.

    But other sources said that CEC members cannot advise Museveni on corruption related issues, because they are also under probe.

    However, seasoned political commentator and also senior presidential advisor on media, Joseph Tamale Mirundi insists that there is no government official who can threaten Museveni because he is the one who made them and has the alternative to weaken them.

    He gave the example of how he weakened John Patrick Amama Mbabazi the former Prime minister and NRM Secretary General who was once branded as the engine that runs Museveni’s government.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    CRIME

    Criminal Gang Commander Sent To 15 Years Imprisonment For Tormenting Buganda Road Court Magistrate Kamasanyu…

    Published

    on

    Buganda Road Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu

    Justice Margaret Mutonyi of the High Court Criminal Division has sentenced Biral Mulinzi, a city criminal gang commander to 15 years imprisonment for tormenting controversial Buganda Road Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu.

    Mulinzi amended his plea and admitted guilt on charges of aggravated robbery after seeing Kamasanyu preparing herself in the courtroom to stand in the dock and testify against him and other accused persons on the same file.

    Prosecution told court that on 17th July 2021, Mulinzi commanded his gang members who were moving on a motorcycle to attack Kamasanyu who was standing at the gate of Green Hill Academy in Namuwongo a Kampala city suburb.

    The gang who were already high, insulted Kamasanyu by slapping, kicking and showering her with blows until they overpowered her and took off with her handbag.

    In her statement, Kamasanyu said that she was standing at the school gate waiting for the security guard to bring for her the primary leaving examination results of her son which were just released by Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB).

    She explained that the guards stopped her from entering the school because they were the rules put in place to fight the spread of Covid-19.

    She said that the gang took off with her money, Bank ATM card, her iPhone Promax phone, Apple Ear pods, keys to her office and home and her cosmetics.

    Mulinzi was arrested by police after being captured by roadside cameras.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    like us

    TRENDING

    theGrapevine is a subsidiary of Newco Publications Limited, a Ugandan multimedia group.
    We keep you posted on the latest from Uganda and the World. COPYRIGHT © 2022
    P.O Box 5511, Kampala - Uganda Tel: +256-752 227640 Email: info@thegrapevine.co.ug
    theGrapevine is licenced by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)