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Byandala acquitted of corruption in Katosi road scam

Former Works and Transport minister Abraham Byandala has been acquitted of all charges levelled against him in the infamous Mukono-Katosi road scam that cost the country up to Shs 24.7 billion in losses. 

Byandala was facing 16 counts of abuse of office, disobedience of lawful orders, influence peddling, causing financial loss, corruption, theft, obtaining money by false pretense, uttering false documents and conspiracy to defraud the government.

The charges stem from an investigation for his role in the illegal award of a contract to Eutaw, a fictitious road construction company that was contracted to construct the Mukono-Katosi road.

Byandala was accused of using his office as Transport minister to influence the issuance of the contract in which, Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) awarded the Shs 165 billion project to Eutaw, before completion of the due diligence process.

Abraham Byandala has been acquitted (file photo)

A report by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) pinned Byandala for forcing Unra to sign and advance Shs 24.7 billion to the firm. It was later discovered that Eutaw did not have relations to the firm in the United States that it used as its parent company.

Today, Anti-Corruption court judge Lawrence Gidudu acquitted Byandala of the charges on grounds that the prosecution failed to furnish court with substantial evidence to prove the case. The prosecution team was from the Office of Inspector General of Government. 

Gidudu dismissed the prosecution evidence, which depended on a letter that Byandala authored directing Unra to sign a contract with Eutaw. Gidudu said that in writing the letter dated November 14, 2014, Byandala was not abusing the law because he was authorized under the law to give guidance to Unra, which, at the time, did not have board of directors.

Gidudu said prosecution did not prove that in directing Unra to sign the contract, Byandala was aware that the contract was going to be awarded to a fictitious company. Gidudu added that the law allows signing of the contract before due diligence is completed.

The judge further dismissed prosecution arguments that Byandala directed his then junior minister Eng John Byabagambi to formalize a sub contract that Eutaw issued to Chongqing international construction company contrary to the IGG's earlier directives. Gidudu said the letter was an internal ministry memo and prosecution did not prove that it was formalized.

Comments

+1 #1 rubangakene 2018-08-29 22:12
What a joke; the man is as guilty as "any Ugandan saint" knows.

How could a minister appointed by the highest authority in the land miss an opportunity to investigate the people who tendered for such a huge contract?

He has failed in his duties as final authority to scrutinize in detail all the paperwork submitted to his office.

This is the man who should now b rearrested an charged with "TREASON".

His wealth and properties should be appropriated to cover the loss to the taxpayer of this country forthwith.

HAKUNA MICHEZO; this farce has gone on for too long. if this was in Tanzania, Magulufi would be on his case in the first instance!
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0 #2 kabayekka 2018-08-30 16:05
rubangakene, one thinks that the USA can help the government of Uganda to try and recover the money from the dodgy USA company Autaw and Chongqing international construction company.

The CIA is very good at doing that in only 3 months. Unfortunately NRM has no will power to antagonise foreign investors.
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0 #3 kabayekka 2018-08-30 16:09
In the meantime the Uganda tax payer must repay the money as soon as possible to the best of his or her ability.
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