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Laptop checked in Fund probe

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th April 2006 03:00 AM

The Global Fund probe yesterday ordered the Project Management Unit (PMU) chief, Dr Tiberius Muhebwa, to produce his laptop for examination to establish if he wrote the controversial letter that led to the recruitment of Julius Mugisha, health state minister Dr. Alex Kamugisha’s son.

The Global Fund probe yesterday ordered the Project Management Unit (PMU) chief, Dr Tiberius Muhebwa, to produce his laptop for examination to establish if he wrote the controversial letter that led to the recruitment of Julius Mugisha, health state minister Dr. Alex Kamugisha’s son.

By John Odyek and Jude Etyang

The Global Fund probe yesterday ordered the Project Management Unit (PMU) chief, Dr Tiberius Muhebwa, to produce his laptop for examination to establish if he wrote the controversial letter that led to the recruitment of Julius Mugisha, health state minister Dr. Alex Kamugisha’s son.

Financial controller PMU Moses Opondo had said Muhebwa wrote the letter to health ministry permanent secretary Muhamad Kezaala, asking him to release the ministry IT official, Martin Kiyingi, to work for PMU.

The letter said Kiyingi would be paid $650 per month for four months.

Opondo said Kiyingi had earlier done computer work for the PMU for one year without pay.

He said the letter was backdated by four months to enable Kiyingi be paid for that work.

Opondo said Muhebwa later asked Kiyingi to chair a panel that interviewed the minister’s son.

Opondo who should have handled the recruitment was left out.

Opondo said the letter was written in September and backdated to 27 May, 2004.

He said Muhebwa wrote the letter on his laptop where the details about the date could be found.

Kiyingi, who received a lumpsum payment for four months, interviewed the minister’s son, awarding him the highest points.
However, yesterday Muhebwa said he used independent experts to recruit Mugisha whom he did not know was the minister’s son.

“I was never directed by the permanent secretary or minister to recruit Mugisha,” he said.

In a blunt revelation, Opondo said Muhebwa brought the minister’s son to his office ahead of the recruitment, saying: “This is the gentleman to work with.”

He said sham adverts were also created to regularise the recruitment.

Opondo said Muhebwa told him that Kezaala had withdrawn his own person for the post of data management officer in favour of the minister’s son.

To conclude the matter, Ogoola ordered Muhebwa to produce the laptop. His lawyer Oscar Kihika objected saying his client was being treated like a criminal and a thief. He said the commission did not have powers to order his client to bring the laptop.

But Ogoola stood his ground, saying everyone’s dignity was being respected. He said the Commission of Inquiry Act gave his commission powers of the High Court. He ordered a Police officer to accompany Muhebwa to bring the laptop. Muhebwa returned 20 minutes later.

Opondo was asked to look into Muhebwa’s laptop as he searched for the letter. But the computer dates were different. The computer read that the letter was modified in February 2005 although it was created in July 2005. Opondo said the computer had been tampered with.

He asked for an IT specialist for an audit trail. Ogoola called in Gilbert Mwambu, a computer forensics expert, who said the letter was copied to the Muhweba’s laptop and that the modification could have been done from another computer.

He said it was difficult to say if Muhebwa was the author of the letter.

Kihika then called for action against Opondo for lying but Ogoola rejected this, saying he was the one who ordered the investigation.

Laptop checked in Fund probe

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