By our Staff writer.
Uganda, Kampala- The former Works Minister, Engineer Abraham Byandala is set to defend himself and six others for causing government a loss of Shillings 24.7 billion meant for the upgrade of Mukono- Katosi-Nyenga road in 2013.
On Monday, the Head of the Anti-Corruption Court, Justice Lawrence Gidudu found a prima facie case against the accusing persons basing on the evidence of 23 prosecution witnesses.
In his ruling, Justice Gidudu said Byandala has to explain whether it was a policy directive for him to direct Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to sign a contract with Eutaw Construction Company and why the directive wasn’t laid before parliament and gazetted as required by the UNRA Act.
He also said the former minister has to explain the manner and tone he used in the letter he addressed to his Junior Minister, John Byabagambi in disregard of a directive from the Inspectorate of Government to halt the road works.
Engineer Berunado Kimeze Ssebbugga, the former UNRA Executive Director will explain why he communicated the contract award and penned the contract when the identity and the capacity of the construction company were clearly in question.
The other suspects are Joe Ssemugooma, Wilberforce Senjako and Marvin Baryaruha, the former counsel of the authority who is accused of misadvising his employer to sign the said contract with Eutaw construction company without carrying out due diligence.
Court also wants city businessman, Apollo Senkeeto to defend himself against allegations of theft of the Shillings 24.7 billion when he falsely presented himself as the representative of Eutaw Mississippi, the company that won the contractor. Also expected to defend himself is Isaac Mugote, a former Housing Finance Bank Official
The accused person has asked to give their defense on oath. Senkeeto has asked for protection when they appear in court, saying his testimony might not go down well with some people of influence. The suspects are expected to return to court on October 30, 2017.