By Edward Anyoli
THE Anti- Corruption Court will on Tuesday deliver its judgment in the case where interdicted Permanent Secretary in the ministry of local government, John Kashaka Muhanguzi, is accused of sham LC bicycle importation that cost government over sh4b.
Kashaka’s co-accused are; Henry Bamutura, the principal Accountant, Robert Mwebaze, Principal procurement officer, Sam Emorut, Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Planning, Timothy Musherure and Adam B. Aluma an Administrative Officer.
During the trial conducted by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, a total of 17 witnesses testified, most of them said the process to secure the 70,000 bicycles was irregular.
Prosecution led by Principal State Attorney, Jane Frances Abodo, during the final submission asked court to convict all the accused on grounds that prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Silva Kakumba, a court assessor also asked court to convict all the accused. He said Kashaka in a letter dated March 3, 2011 to Bank of Uganda deliberately authorised a payment of 40% letter of credit which he did without the approval of the contract committee.
Kashaka and Bamutura are accused of causing financial loss by authorising payment of US$1,719,454.58 to the purported supplier M/s AITEL, despite being warned by Bank of Uganda that documents presented by Stanbic Bank did not comply with terms for letters of credit.
The two, according to prosecution, also wrote to Bank of Uganda amending the conditions for the final destination of the bicycles from the villages and parishes to Kampala. They never consulted the contracts or adjusted the contract price accordingly.
The State also accuses Kashaka and Emorut of signing the bicycles’ contract with irregularly amended terms which allowed payment of 40% of the money on presentation of shipping documents instead of full payment on delivery of the bicycles. They also allegedly extended the bicycles delivery period by one month.
According to the charge sheet, Mwebaze also advised bidders to ignore technical specifications and reduced the bid security to sh300m without consulting the contracts committee.
Among other complaints, Emorut, Mwebaze, Aluma and Musherure, are accused of irregularly advised that the M/S AITEL met the minimum requirements and experience of having supplied 70,000 bicycles in a single lot. They also irregularly recommended that M/S AITEL had complied with the payment terms.
The State also that in addition, the four recommended M/s AITEL despite it having no joint venture agreement with Amman Impex as stated in the solicitation documents. The state says these should have disqualified M/s AITEL.
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