Abraham Byandala has been acquitted of all charges in the botched Mukono-Katosi road project.
PIC: Ex-minister Abraham Byandala in court before the judgment on Wednesday. (Credit: Miriam Namutebi)
KAMPALA - Former works minister Abraham Byandala has been acquitted by the Anti-Corruption Court of all charges in the botched Mukono-Katosi road project.
Former Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) acting executive director, Eng. Benurado Kimeze Ssebugga, was also cleared of all charges Wednesday morning.
Byandala and six others were being accused of stealing sh24.7b in the botched Mukono-Katosi road project.
Businessman Apollo Ssenketo was among those accused in the scam.
They were accused on grounds of abuse of office, causing financial loss, disobedience of lawful orders, theft, uttering false documents, corruption and obtaining execution of a security by false pretence.
On Wednesday, however, the judge ruled that there was no financial loss caused because there was no evaluation of the works done before the Inspector General of Government stopped the contract.
Joe Ssemugooma, Marvin Baryaruha and Isaac Mugote are the other three accused.
Byaruha, the former UNRA legal counsel, has also been acquitted of the charges.
But Ssemugooma, who was the director of finance at UNRA at the time, has been found guilty of abuse of office for failing to verify security bonds.
Earlier in court . . .
Ahead of Wednesday's ruling, Byandala was alleged to have influenced the procurement process that led to the award of the road tender to Eutaw, a fake company.
Prosecution alleged that Ssenketo uttered a false KCB Bank bid guarantee for sh1.9b in support of his bid for the road upgrade contract.
Last month, court assessors advised the Anti-Corruption Court, presided over by Justice Lawrence Gidudu, to acquit the accused on grounds that prosecution did not prove loss of money.
Ssenketo was also alleged to have 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.
UNRA officials were accused by the Inspector General of Government for effecting payment of sh24.7b to Eutaw without establishing its authenticity.