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    NITA In New Scandal (Is This Why Doctors, Nurses, Teachers And Prosecutors Can’t Be Paid Well)



    By Grapevine Snoops


    As our hardworking doctors, nurses, teachers and prosecutors cry over little pay, and as the president continues to scratch his head on where to get money to pay them, government through the ICT sector is dishing out alot of ‘free’ money through NITA, a government source told The Grapevine.



    NITA-Uganda top bosses are once again in the spotlight for yet another scandal. And this time it’s not Soliton Telmec, the Kenyan company whose scandals we have been serializing on this news website. The
    latest scandal concerns the multibillion deal awarded for issuance of certification for companies that bid to provide ICT services to government and its MDAs. Early this year, NITA and Comtel Integrators Africa Ltd bosses confused the PPDA executive director to write for them a circular which requires all ICT companies wanting to bid for any government contract to have the Comtel certificate showing they are good companies meeting certain minimum conditions. In Uganda we have hundreds of such ICT companies which are always competing for big government contracts to provide ICT services. It’s called certification of bidder document which NITA is supposed to issue to such companies but the task was outsourced to be handled by Comtel.
    The contract was signed recently a few months ago and there are a number of problems pertaining to this deal. The problem number one is that Mr. Lubega who is the proprietor of Comtel was previously a board
    member of NITA-U which clearly raises the issue of conflict of interest which is an offence and a good ground for IGG to be petitioned to intervene and cancel the contract. The contract was awarded to Comtel by NITA management bosses who Lubega once supervised as board member. This is clear conflict of interest making it a bad deal from the word go. The second problem concerning this deal is the unfair revenue sharing agreement in which the government of Uganda, represented by NITA, is clearly cheated. This is so because on every revenue collected for the issuance of the certificate, 80% is for Comtel and only 20% goes to government. The question is why would NITA betray government to have such a very unfair revenue sharing agreement? What’s the deal behind this whole thing? Knowledgeable sources say that since getting this NITA deal, Comtel which was struggling is nowadays doing well and Lubega is always smiling his way to the bank. And here is why he can afford to smile; the lowest firm applying for certification pays a minimum of 3.6m to get the NITA certificate and of this money, Comtel takes 2.88m (which is the 80%) leaving government represented by NITA to take peanuts which is 720,000 (20%). Some big companies pay much more to get this NITA certificate which must be included for your bidding documents to be accepted as complete. And those opposed to NITA in government are using this Comtel deal to argue that it should be among those MDAs that should immediately be scrapped. They are arguing that inability to handle simple work like certification of ICT firms is clear evidence that NITA-U should be abolished because this is clear proof that the understaffed entity can’t do any work on its own.

    “How can an authority, which serves the interest of government negotiate a very bad deal for government. We have information that some NITA bosses negotiate these bad deals because they have a lot of kickback which is in millions of dollars. And they use this money to go on expensive holidays.  If they had negotiated good deals on behalf of government as per their mandate, probably the president wouldn’t be scratching his head to look for where to get funds to pay the striking public servants,” a source from the ICT ministry, who sounded very bitter, told us.

    This source told us that parliament has to come out and look into such deals because government is losing a lot of money which would have been used to lessen the burden on the president and government of paying public servants who are crying for a better pay.



    When The Grapevine talked to Mr Steven Kirenga, the Communications and Marketing Specialist at NITA, he told us that, first, outsourcing is a modern business practice which even big companies like MTN, airtel and others do. “I will give you an example of MTN, Huawei manages its services, ZTE manages its networks. So outsourcing is a normal business practice,” Kirenga noted. Kirenga added that as far as the legalities of the outsourcing go, NITA is mandated by law to outsource. On the issue of Mr. Lubega being a former board member, which brings conflict of interest, Kirenga told us that it’s true Mr. Lugbega was a former board member, but once someone leaves, he cannot influence decisions made. So, he didn’t influence anything because he was no longer part of NITA. Kirenga added that above all they followed the right PPDA procedures when awarding Comtel the certification deal. On the issue of negotiating a bad deal for government, Kirenga told us that it can’t be a bad deal when government is not putting in anything. “The way they were procured was through an open and competitive bidding. They were the most competitive given that they are in partnership with an international certification firm called Cyber Q. As government, we don’t have a lot of money, but they promised to do everything on behalf of government. So, Comtel is investing all the resources that are required to run the certification process successfully and because of this big investment they are putting in, that’s why they got 80% share,” Kirenga clarified.


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



    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


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    Minister Kabanda Panics As Traders Plan To Front Ssekitto To Battle Her For Kampala Central MP Seat…



    KACITA'S Issa Ssekitto and Minister Minsa Kabanda

    Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) spokesperson Issa Ssekitto has confirmed that come 2026, he is pondering contesting for the position of Kampala Central Division Member of Parliament as an independent.

    Ssekitto revealed that his decision was based on the number of requests he has received from desperate traders who think that the only way to fight bad policies and laws made against them is to have their own in the parliament to argue their case.

    It should be noted that when traders met President Museveni in May 2024 at Kololo independence ground, they warned legislators in parliament who have been passing laws against them that they are going to sponsor their own candidates against them come 2026.

    They claimed that the legislators and other leaders who they showered with votes in the previous elections have betrayed them and it is high time they take over the country’s leadership.

    Sources inside KACITA told theGrapevine that Nagenda Musoke their chairperson also plans to stand for a Member of Parliament in one of the constituents in Mukono district.

    John Kabanda also plans to stand as councilor representing Kampala Central Division on the Lord Mayor’s Council.

    The traders insist that Kampala city and Metropolitan senior minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda has not helped them as a minister and accuse her of sidelining with their tormentors, especially the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

    Since 2023, Minister Kabanda has been conducting clandestine political mobilization to replace Muhammad Nsereko who declared that he is not going to contest in 2026.

    Because of Kabanda’s declaration, Bobi Wine’s elder brother Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu shifted his interest from contesting for Kampala Central MP Seat to Lord Mayor fearing that chances are high that Kabanda will defeat him.

    Traders want parliament to remove EFRIS and reduce taxes on commodities especially imported items.

    However, President Museveni assured them that his government will not accept their prayers because they are against the country’s development.


    By Hadijjah Namagembe


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    Bank Bosses In Trouble For Allowing Sanctioned M7 Gov’t Official To Access Money On Her Account..



    L-R: Agnes Nandutu, Goretti Kitutu and Speaker Anita Among were all recently sanctioned

    The Western powers have kicked off investigation into allegations that bank bosses in Kampala allowed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s sanctioned government officials to access and use their financial services.

    Sources in one of the top banks intimated to theGrapevine that their boss has been summoned at their bank headquarters in the United Kingdom to record a statement detailing how the incident happened and why.

    Sources claim that this senior government official was informed early that President Museveni was briefed about her sanctions and when she asked her lawyers what the sanctions meant, they quickly advised her with immediate effect to rush to the bank and withdraw her money which she did.

    “She came herself and withdrew her money and went with it, but we don’t know whether our bosses were already informed about the sanctions,” a source said.

    This bank source narrated to us a scenario where the former Inspector General of Police Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura’s close relative was denied the opportunity to open a bank account in their bank on grounds that his father was sanctioned and their bank was not allowed to do any financial business with him.

    Recently, the State Minister for Lands Dr. Sam Mayanja revealed that retired High Court Judge Moses Mukiibi told him that because of the sanctions, he could no longer access his money in the banks.

    He added that they asked President Museveni to intervene.

    However, the judiciary last week issued a statement noting that Justice Mukiibi is receiving his retirement benefits as a retired judge.

    Veteran journalist Joseph Tamale Mirundi explained that western powers give a sanctioned official six months to clear whatever they have in their respective countries including repatriating their relatives from their countries.

    But Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the National Unity Platform (NUP) deputy spokesperson said that the sanctions take immediate effect and all the money on bank accounts and properties of the sanctioned persons in foreign countries is frozen immediately when the sanctions are announced.

    Mufumbiro’s explanation was supported by a powerful security officer who told theGrapevine that recently, President Museveni posted one of his sanctioned security chief to one of the neighbouring countries; however this officer failed to access his bank account and when he tried to fix his ATM card into the ATM machine, it was swallowed by the machine and he immediately called Museveni pleading with him to withdraw him from the said country.

    Recently, the United Kingdom sanctioned Annet Anita Among the speakers of parliament, Agnes Nandutu the former State Minister for Karamoja affairs and Mary Goretti Kitutu the former senior minister for Karamoja affairs.

    Other government officials who were sanctioned include; Gen. Kayihura, Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho, Maj. Gen. Sabiiti Muzeyi, Maj. Gen. Don Nabasa and a number of others including members of parliament.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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