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Katosi Scam: American witness to testify against Byandala

By Michael Odeng

Added 2nd August 2017 10:22 AM

Justice Lawrence Gidudu the head of the Anti-Corruption Court is presiding over the trial

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Justice Lawrence Gidudu the head of the Anti-Corruption Court is presiding over the trial

Bobby Little, an American is today at 4pm slated to testify against former Works Minister, Abraham Byandala and six others, accused of defrauding government of sh24.7b. 

The money was meant for the upgrade of Mukono-Kyetume–Katosi–Nyenga road from gravel to bitumen standard. 

The witness will testify through audio-video link against Byandala together with former UNRA officials Berunado Kimeze Ssebbugga, 54, Joe Ssemugooma, 54, Wilberforce Senjako, city businessman Apolo Senkeeto, 45, and Isaac Mugote, a former Housing Finance Bank official. 

Audio-Visual link refers to giving or receiving evidence through electronic means without a person physically appearing in court. This comes after Little failed to travel to Uganda to testify against the accused. 

Justice Lawrence Gidudu, the head of the Anti-Corruption Court is presiding over the trial. 

About a fortnight ago, the director of legal affairs from Inspectorate of Government (IGG) Sarah Birungi informed court that extracting the witnesses’ statement had been concluded between the US Department of Justice and the Ugandan government. 

In August 2016, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe launched the audio-video link technology at High Court in Kampala to help victims of sexual violence, children, whistleblowers and other types of witnesses who would like to protect their identity, or are unable to physically appear in court, to offer their testimony. 

According to the charge sheet, Byandala is alleged to have influenced the procurement process that led to the award of tender to Eutaw. 

Prosecution alleges that Senkeeto uttered a false KCB bank bid guarantee for sh1.9b in support of a bid for procurement of the road upgrade. 

Senkeeto allegedly obtained execution of performance bond of sh16.5b from insurance company of East Africa and UAP by misrepresenting to them that it was guaranteeing a pending payment for the road. 

Meanwhile, UNRA officials were accused by the IGG for effecting payment of sh24.7b to Eutaw without establishing its authenticity.

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