The defence hearing of the case in which former Works minister, Eng.Abraham Byandala is accused of causing government a financial loss of Shs 24.7 billion in the Kyetume –Katosi road scam, kicked off today.
First in the dock was businessman Apollo Ssenkeeto who is accused of purporting to be a director of Eutaw Construction Company limited, a position he used to defraud government.
During the cross examination, it was revealed that Eutaw Construction Company found in Mississippi in the US was the original company that bid for the construction of a number of roads including the Kyetume- Katosi road .
According to Ssenkeeto’s evidence during cross examination, the company in the US was registered with three directors including Michael Orville, Richard Pratt and Tim Mackoy.
On Tuesday, the businessman told court that officials from UNRA advised their counterparts from Eutaw to form a locally based company to handle the bid for the construction of the Kyetume-Katosi road.
“The UNRA legal department advised us to have the company incorporated locally,” Ssenkeeto confirmed on Wednesday.
When asked to confirm the directors of Eutaw International Limited, the local company formed, the businessman named one Juliana Ndahendekire, Michael Orville and himself as directors. He also said they had opened offices along Jinja road in Kampala.
It was also found that Ssenkeeto used to receive correspondences in form of emails together with the three directors of the US based Eutaw Construction Company from UNRA in regards to the bidding process of the road project.
However, during the cross examination on Wednesday,it was discovered that Richard Pratt, who was one of the directors of the company in October 2011 wrote to UNRA informing them that Ssenkeeto should stop receiving correspondences in regards to the project because he was only a country representative of the US based company and not a director.
It was also discovered during cross examination that a purported board of directors meeting sat and kicked Michael Orville out of the company and was no longer a signatory to the company’s bank accounts.
This left only Ssenkeeto with powers to sign cheques for Eutaw International Limited a company that had allegedly been formed as the local branch of Eutaw Construction Company.
It was through the cross examination that it was revealed that shs24.7 billion was credited on the account of Eutaw International Limited where Ssenkeeto was a signatory.
This meant that Eutaw Construction Company based in Mississippi had bid for construction of the Kyetume- Katosi road yet Eutaw International Limited, a company formed in Uganda had been paid money for the construction of the road.
However Ssenkeeto claimed that the shs 24.7 billion credited on the company account was used to buy equipment for the construction of the road and that works had started by the time they were arrested.
“Government is owing us because we used Shs 33 billion for the partial construction of the road and the equipment that was confiscated by police,”Ssenkeeto said on Wednesday.
Justice Lawrence Gidudu however adjourned the case to December 18th.