Government to appeal acquittal of Byandala in Kyetume- Katosi road scam

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

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The Inspector General of Government has filed a notice of appeal to challenge the acquittal of former Works and Transport minister Abraham Byandala and 3 others in the Mukono -Katosi road scam.

The anti-corruption court last month acquitted Byandala, the former UNRA acting executive director Eng Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, Marvin Baryaruha(former UNRA legal boss) and Isaac Mugote, a former staffer at Housing Finance Bank of any wrong doing in the Shs24 billion Kyetume- Katosi road saga.

In the notice of appeal lodged in the court of appeal, the IGG says she is dissatisfied with the decision of Justice Lawrence Gidudu to clear the four people of charges related to abuse of office, causing financial loss and disobeying her lawful orders.

In his judgment, Gidudu said there was no evidence to show that Byandala has caused financial loss to government by signing a letter that gave UNRA a go-ahead to award the contract to Eutaw construction before acquitting him.

The judge also noted that no evidence had been adduced to the effect that Kimeze,Mugote and Baryaruha had done any wrong doing in the work that led government to lose shs24 billion in the Kyetume- Katosi rod scam.

However, in the same notice lodged before the court of appeal, the IGG is also appealing against the sentences handed down to the three convicts including Apollo Senkeeto , Joe Ssemugooma and Wilberforce Senjako.

The IGG says that the punishments handed to the three people were too lenient to meet the ends of justice.

The IGG has however asked the court of Appeal to allow her time to peruse through the lower court judgment to enable her office file detailed grounds of appeal.

The anti- corruption court convicted and sentenced Apollo Ssenkeeto, who purported to be the country representative for Eutaw Construction Company, Joe Ssemugooma, the former director of finance and administration at UNRA and Wilberforce Ssenjako, the former regional accountant for UNRA to 10 and five years’ imprisonment.

“Ssenkeeto was the architect of this scam with his American friends and if this was a play, he would be the protagonist. He needs salvation because his manipulations forced many people to lose jobs in UNRA. If Ssemugooma and Ssenjako had nipped the bud in the knee, the scam would have collapsed at tendering stage and Eutaw would have been disqualified at the same stage due to presenting fake securities,”Gidudu said.

“They were gatekeepers who would have locked out the bogus bid by properly verifying the bid securities but they didn’t do it. A non-custodial sentence would only be a mockery of justice and a simple part on their back yet they cause a big loss to government.”

The IGG now joins the two convicts including Ssenkeeto and Ssemugooma to challenge the verdict of the anti-corruption court.

On Monday, the duo asked the court of Appeal to quash their conviction and respective sentences on charges of abuse of office and theft of 24. 7 billion shillings saying the conviction was unfair.

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