OPM Officials remanded to Luzira and Kitalya Govt prisons over inflating prices for COVID-19 relief food for the vulnerable poor
Four officials from the Office of the Prime Minister who were on 9th this month arrested by the State house Anti corruption unit for allegedly inflating prices of food meant for the vulnerable poor under the COVID-19 food relief program have been arraigned before Buganda road court and remanded to Kitalya Government Prison on charges of Colluding to commit a fraudulent Practice.
They include the Permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu who has been remanded to Luzira prison being a woman, while the Under Secretary Joel Wanjala, Commissioner in charge of relief Disaster Preparedness and Head of the covid 19 Relief Management- Martin Owor; together with the Head Procurement Unit Fred Lutimba have been remanded to Kitalya government prison until 4th/May/2020.
Presiding Grade One Magistrate Doreen Karungi informed a team of 11 Defence Lawyers who had turned up in court to apply for their bail; that due to the prevailing circumstances of the Nation Wide Lockdown in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19, she was not in position to entertain lengthy court proceedings.
Court heard that between 31st/March and 8th/April/2020 the accused persons while employed in their respective capacities, colluded to commit a fraudulent practice during the procurement of relief food items for the poor in respect of COVID-19; by inflating prices from those offered by the suppliers contrary to the PPDA Act.
However they denied the allegation but the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Alice Komuhangi told court that investigations into this case are still ongoing and applied for the adjournment of the case.