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I took part in trapping the finance officilas - Witness

By Edward Anyoli

Added 5th March 2018 02:49 PM

Kitongo said he was instructed by Mugumya to keep watch at the window on fourth floor of the finance ministry building and take note of whatever was happening.

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Kitongo said he was instructed by Mugumya to keep watch at the window on fourth floor of the finance ministry building and take note of whatever was happening.

CORRUPTION

KAMPALA - A Police officer, who took part in the arrest of two top finance ministry officials over allegations of soliciting a sh1b bribe from an investor, on Friday told court that he carried the money that was used to trap the officials.

Assistant Inspector of Police David Kitongo, said he, together with the lead investigator, Henry Mugumya, went to the finance ministry offices in Kampala after being tipped that some staff had solicited for a sh1b bribe.

Testifying before Justice Lawrence Gidudu at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo, Kampala, Kitongo said Hassan Sserunjoji handed him $16,800 (about sh61.3m), which was reportedly used to trap John Charles Ogol and Geoffrey Turyamuhika.

Kitongo said he was instructed by Mugumya to keep watch at the window on fourth floor of the finance ministry building and take note of whatever was happening.

Charges

Ogol, 57, as principal finance officer and Turyamuhika, 37, a senior economist were charged on April 7, 2017 with (corruption) soliciting for $300,000 (sh1b) to expedite the process of financing construction of a power sub-station in Tororo district.

Prosecution said Ogol and Turyamuhika solicited the money on January 30, 2017 and allegedly received it on March 27, 2017 at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Kampala. The two deny the charges.

Alleged demand for $300,000 (sh1b)

According to prosecution, the two agreed to waive the taxes and allegedly demanded sh1b from Sserunjonji so as to facilitate the process of waiving the would-be taxes.

Prosecution said the accused demanded a part payment of $50,000 (about sh180m) with the extra $250,000 supposed to be paid later in exchange of not paying taxes.

Liaison officer contacts the President

Following undue pressure from the accused, Sserunjoji reportedly contacted President Yoweri Museveni for his intervention over the matter. He reportedly explained according to the prosecution that two officials from the finance ministry demanded big sums of money as a bribe to facilitate government work.

Upon reporting to the President about the bribe, Sserunjonji was advised that, that was a criminal matter, which he should report to the Police. He complied with the President's directive and reported the matter at the Special Investigations Division (SID).

According prosecution, the SID commandant then contacted State House Controller and a trap of $50,000 from State House was arranged, leading to the arrest of the two officials.

Prosecution said the money was allegedly taken to Ogol’s office, where the two accused were. Before allegedly handing over the money, Sserunjonji tipped-off the Police officers, who set the trap.

Upon meeting the two accused, the money was allegedly handed to them and Ogol and Turyamuhika allegedly received it before they were arrested.
 
 

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