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IGG drops charges on Bakoko Bakoru

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th October 2009 03:00 AM

THE Inspectorate of Government (IGG) has dropped charges of abuse of office against former minister Zoe Bakoko Bakoru.

By Edward Anyoli

THE Inspectorate of Government (IGG) has dropped charges of abuse of office against former minister Zoe Bakoko Bakoru.

Bakoko had been accused of approving a private company to enter into a joint venture with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF, making the workers’ pension scheme to lose sh8b.

In a letter of September 30, the acting IGG, Raphael Baku Obudra, also withdrew bribery charges against city tycoon James Isabirye.

“Take note that the Government of Uganda intends that the proceedings against Bakoko Bakoru Zoe, charged with abuse of office and James Isabirye, charged with bribery of a member of a public body under the Prevention of Corruption Act, shall not continue,” the letter said.

The head of prosecution at the Inspectorate of Government, Sydney Asubo, said: “Several attempts were made to arrest Bakoko and Isabirye but we have up to now failed to arrest them, so the inspectorate has decided to withdraw charges against them.”

Asubo said as soon as the Police arrests the suspects, prosecution would re-instate charges.

Bakoko, who has been on a warrant of arrest since 2006, now lives in the United States and is columnist in a local newspaper.

After the IGG directive, Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate Vincent Mugabo withdrew the charges against Bakoko and Isabirye but issued criminal summons for Geofrey Onegi Obel, the former NSSF board chairman, to appear on November 10 on charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss.

According to the IGG’s report, Bakoko got the agreement to construct the housing estate in the morning and approved it in the afternoon without consulting the Cabinet and the Attorney General.

Prosecution had accused Isabirye of offering $350,000 (about sh700m) to Leonard Mpuuma, the former NSSF managing director.

The money was meant to influence Mpuuma to allow NSSF enter into a joint venture with Isabirye’s company, Mugoya Construction Company.

Last year, Mpuuma pleaded guilty to causing financial loss and paid sh100m to NSSF. Thereafter, the charges against him were dropped.

Onegi-Obel is said to have caused the financial loss following the botched $225m (about sh400b) Nsimbe Housing Estates deal between NSSF and the Kenya-based construction guru, Isabirye.

Prosecution said Onegi-Obel, between 2003 and 2005, caused NSSF to go into a joint venture with a private business company without subjecting it to competitive prequalification and without a feasibility study.

IGG drops charges on Bakoko Bakoru

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