The Inspector General of Government has questioned former ministers Syda Bbumba and Khiddu Makubuya.
By Mary Karugaba and Raymond Baguma
The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has questioned former ministers Syda Bbumba and Prof. Khiddu Makubuya over their involvement in the controversial sh142b compensation claim to city businessman Hassan Bassajjabala's Haba Group.
Sources at the anti-corruption body revealed that Bbumba was interviewed last week while Makubuya has just responded to the queries in writing. "The IGG has seen Makubuya response to the ombudsman's queries. We are still waiting for the Bank of Uganda Governor's (Tumusiime Mutebile's) response," the source.
According to the source, the IGG will question the top three first and then the technical officers in the President's office and the Ministry of Justice.
"The IGG is going to eliminate all those who were involved in the transaction one by one. First, he is going for Bbumba, Makubuya and Mutebile then the technical officers implicated by the Public accounts committee and the Auditor General," the source said.
Before debating the PAC report, that found them responsible for causing financial loss to Government, the two ministers resigned their cabinet positions. Although the report recommended that Mutebile be fired for his actions in the deal, Parliament stood over the matter until the President's cabinet subcommittee chaired by defence minister Crispus Kiyonga first interacts with the governor.
On Saturday IGG Raphael Baku declined to comment on the questioning of the ministers but said plans of prosecuting them is underway.
He said he will use the two documents to help him establish whether the individuals' actions amounts to criminal conduct that can warrant persecution in court of law. "For us to come to such conclusion there must be identification of criminal act. We must have sufficient evidence that can sustain persecution," he said.
The IGG is questioning the legality of the contract between Bassajjabala and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the proportion of the compensation to the investments on the ground.
"Preliminary opinion raised by the Auditor General is that the contracts were illegal because they were not approved by the Attorney General. So because of this, no compensation should have been given out," he said.
"Secondly, even if there was consideration for compensation, the amount was too much. It was unproportion to the investments on the ground," Baku said.
In an interview with Sunday Vision, Baku said if the ministers are successfully persecuted, not only will they be jailed but will also be compelled to bring back the money.
According to the anti-corruption Act, if a person is convicted of causing financial loss, they are supposed to serve a sentence of 14 years in jail, but the punishment is at the discretion of the judge.
IGG interrogates Bbumba, Makubuya