By Hillary Kiirya
THE defence ministry has lost interest in the sh300m case against two of it employees charged with defrauding the Government of the money in a bogus blanket deal.
In a letter dated August 27, 2002, the acting army chief of staff, Brig. Nakibus Lakara, told the Buganda Road chief Magistrates Court, â€œThe UPDF is no longer interested in pursuing the court case against those responsible for the fraud pursuant to the agreements between the UPDF and Simba Blankets.â€
Pte. Grace Lutaaya, the in-charge of stores at Bombo Army headquarters, and Alfred Katariza, an auditor attached to the defence ministry, were in Luzira Prisons.
Their case comes up for mention today.
They were jointly charged with Bernard Turyatunga, an accountant with Simba Blankets, who is accused of embezzling sh105m from Simba Blankets.
He allegedly connived with the UPDF employees to defraud the Government.
Lutaaya allegedly signed and endorsed delivery notesfrom Simba Blankets for supply of blankets which were not delivered.
Turyatunga is accused of omitting to verify on the delivery of blankets which led to a financial loss of sh300m.
However, Lakara said to date, Simba Blankets had delivered 28,760 out of 39,698 blankets which are due.
A balance of 10,938 pieces are to be delivered by September 9.
Lakara also requested that since the parties made a gentlemanâ€™s agreement to unblock the accounts at a certain point, the court should unblock the account to help Simba Blankets complete the delivery.
The dfcu Bank account had been closed following the discovery of the alleged fraud.
Lakara, however, added that should Simba Blankets wish to pursue the court case in respect of its employee, the UPDF had no objection.