4 Top OPM Officials Sent to Anti-Corruption Court

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • July 9, 2020

Four top officials in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), accused of fraudulent practices in connection with the procurement of relief food to people affected by Covid-19 lockdown, have been sent to the Anti-Corruption Court for trial.

The officials include permanent secretary Christine Guwatudde, undersecretary and accounting officer Joel Wanjala, commissioner disaster preparedness and head of the Covid-19 taskforce Martin Owor, and Fred Lutimba, the assistant commissioner in-charge of procurement.

The Grade One Magistrate at Buganda Road Court, Ms Doreen Olga Karungi, yesterday directed that the case file be transferred to the Kololo-based Anti-Corruption Court for trial.

“There is a specialised court to handle these matters. So this case file is hereby transferred to the Anti-Corruption Court,” Ms Karungi said.

The magistrate also directed that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should endeavour to disclose to the accused persons, all the necessary evidences they intend to rely on during trial. Ms Karungi extended their bail to July 23 when they will appear before court at Kololo.

Ms Karungi said the accused persons will take plea on accusations of abuse of office, fraudulent false accounting and corruption in connection with the alleged procurement of food relief to people affected by the lockdown resulting from coronavirus.

It should be remembered that the four persons denied charges of colluding to commit a fraudulent practice in regard to inflating prices for Covid-19 foodstuffs under the Public Procurement and Disposal Assets Act.