The Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala has directed businessman, Apollo Senkeeto together with five others to refund over shs20 billion to Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in the botched Kyetume -Katosi road saga.
Following the botched shs24.7 billion Kyetume-Katosi road saga, an audit found out that works amounting to only 3% worth six billion shillings had been done by the time the construction was stopped.
This came after it was found out that after receiving the contract, EUTAW sub-contracted CICO Construction Corporation, a Chinese company to do the works in a dubious deal since EUTAW was nonexistent.
In 2016, UNRA went to court seeking for orders to compel Senkeeto, Tim Mackoy, Richard Pratt, Michael Olvey, Niu Hong and EUTAW Construction Company Incorporated to refund the remaining shs18.6 billion which was never used since the project was stopped.
On Thursday, the head of the Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo ruled that the five people led by Senkeeto and their company, EUTAW were involved in a scam and that there was no work done on the Kyetume -Katosi road.
“It was scheme meant to fleece money from the plaintiff(UNRA),”Adonyo said.
The judge noted that since only 3% of the total works which was worth six billion shillings of the total shs24.7 billion advanced to them for the construction of the road, it is only prudent that they refund the remainder which was never used.
Consequently, the judge directed that the five people together with their company refund shs20 billion to UNRA, pay shs500 million as costs, shs1 billion as punitive damages and that the refund will attract a 10% interest annually since the day of the judgment until the money is paid in full.
In 2018, the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala convicted three people including Senkeeto of theft, obtaining money by false pretence, uttering false documents and conspiracy to defraud in the shs24billion Mukono-Katosi road project scam in 2013.
“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,” Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the Anti -Corruption Court said.
“Though he was a first offender with a young family, he used part of the money from the scam to live an artificial life and court has to discourage such a lifestyle.”
Ssenkeeto was consequently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment but he is currently out on bail pending his appeal.