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Ex-UPPC Managing Director, 4 others charged for causing financial loss

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has charged 5 suspects who are former employees of the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation, (UPPC), to court for causing financial loss and other related conspiracies. The 5 suspects include; Prof. Wasswa Tom Davis, former Managing Director; Kasekende Mujjuzi Arstraco, former Finance Manager; Kigonya Robert, former Sales Executive Manager, Ahimbisibwe John Baptist, Accountant, and Ayebare Catherine, Assistant Accountant. Efforts are in place to trace for the 3 other suspects, who are still at large, but wanted.

According to the facts gathered, during the financial years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation, entered into 3 contracts with Electoral Commission for; printing and publishing materials for polling stations for purposes of display of the National Register for the 2020/21 General Elections, Nominating Candidates for Parliamentary and Local Government Elections; and Local Government Council Elections. As a result, the Electroral Commission transferred to the UPPC an estimated total sum of funds totalling Ugx.15,153,030,709/= (Fifteen billion one hundred fifty-three million, thirty thousand, seven hundred nine shillings), out of which Ugx 2,261,003,034/= was allegedly embezzled.

Under clause 5.9.4 of the Sales and Marketing Police of UPPC categorised jobs/contracts from Ministries, Government Departments and Professional Bodies (under which EC falls), as direct procurement that were not commissionable and as such, did not require the services of a Commission Agent/Business Executive and did not attract a charge of 18% of money paid to UPPC. The alleged Board resolution, that they claim was passed on the 19.12.2019, to alter clause 5.9.4 and introduce an 18% commission of all jobs/contracts from Ministries, Departments and Professional Bodies, were neither filed nor registered with the Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB).

The board, however, went on and appointed a one Kigonya Robert, a former Sales Executive Manager, as the business executive for Electoral Commission. The suspects, caused for the fraudulent transfer of funds from the UPPC Company Bank Accounts, on the 8.07.2020, 21.05.2021 and 28.06.2021 respectively, into his private account which they quickly withdrew and converted to their private use.

The casefile was submitted to the ODPP and charges of causing financial loss C/S 20(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 (as Amended), dealing with suspect property C/S 21 of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 (as Amended) and conspiracy to defraud C/S 309 of the Penal Code Act, against 8 suspects out of whom 5, were arrested and charged. Efforts are in place to trace and arrest the other 3 remaining suspects and produce them in court.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says that the Directorate of CID in coordination with the DPP and other partners, “remain committed to identifying, investigating and pursing all those persons who attempt to enrich themselves though fraudulent means, and will further ensure they are held accountable for their actions.”

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