Special Reports

Wave Of Fear Sweeps OPM As Shs50bn Fraud Suspects Fight Back


malady http://cu1cali.com/curaduria/wp-includes/registration-functions.php geneva;”>This has been through attempts to divert attention on cases pending in court by calling for the prosecution of officials in the Office of Prime Minister especially those who blew the whistle into the theft of over Shs50bn.

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story geneva;”>An investigation by Chimpreports indicates the OPM fraud suspects particularly accomplices of John Martin Owor the interdicted Commissioner Relief, Disaster preparedness and Management, have been working tirelessly to frustrate investigations into the scandal.

Owor is currently facing charges of misappropriating a staggering Shs17bn through supply of hot air in form of fuel and food suppliers to war-torn Northern Uganda.

The Auditor General John Muwanga’s report of 2012 showed that Shs 8, 590,127,612 deposited in various fuel stations by Owor remained unaccounted for.

The fuel deposits were purportedly for transporting food and yet most of the related requisitions had a fuel component.

Included in the payments is Shs 576,000,000 that was refunded to a fuel station by OPM without proper justification.

It was eventually discovered that shs6.8bn earmarked for fuel had been stolen in hot air supplies.

Muwanga noted that Owor claimed to have purchased 50 cartons of salt from sunrise Hardware for Bududa victims and inquiry from the shop revealed that they do deal in only building materials.

Owor further claimed having purchased tarpaulins, nails, kerosene and lanterns, which was false.

The Accounting Officer had directed that turpalines should be bought using a competitive procurement process not micro procurement. At least Shs68m was lost in this fake project.

As if this is not enough, Owor said he used a trailer from February 22 2011 to deliver food to Rakai from Kiryandongo for two days using a staggering 850 litres of diesel which Muwanga said was a “gross exaggeration.”

Owor was also pinned for saying vehicle registration number UG 0123Z used to transport victims and their property from the mudslide-hit Bududa to Kiryandongo was actually transporting food to Bududa over the same period.

OPM procured food supplies for aiding disaster stricken communities.

A review of 23 companies that supplied food revealed that the companies were overpaid by Shs.8, 647,602,417 by Owor.

Under Owor’s docket, a total of Shs 3, 237,987,52210 was withdrawn as cash by the cashier, Oonyu Isaiah, with a frequency of Shs 96 or Shs.100 million almost daily.

In 9 instances, cash totaling to Shs.787, 131,278 was drawn on Fridays putting into question whether activities were to be undertaken over weekends.

Master Plan

Sources say the plan to steal donor funds was hatched at the inception of PRDP when donors insisted on a special account for their contribution to PRDP.

Ordinarily every communication to OPM regarding indicative planning was supposed to be accompanied by donor funds which were not being done by Ministry of Finance.

So when money accumulated and yet PRDP 1 was expiring, the Finance officials sat down in a grand move to loot, cooked by the Principal Accountant Godfrey Kazinda who incidentally was a direct staff of Ministry of Finance seconded to OPM.

All this was done without the knowledge of Kazinda’s superiors.

Martin Owor who is still at large was reportedly a willing slave in the conduit of funds out of OPM once it left the Finance Ministry.

He reportedly assured that an easier way to do this was through food, fuel and disaster areas which would be hard to trace.

As is the custom, every communication regarding indicative planning figures in response to funds to the districts and sectors is supposed to be accompanied by donor funds which was done not by Ministry of Finance.

The Audit Report notes that some companies which did not even have registration certificates were paid for supplying air by Owor.

As Owor explains to court how huge sums of money went missing under his nose, his supporters have moved fast to fight back in what appears as a move to win public sympathy.

Owor’s loyalists have embarked on a smear campaign of some officials in the OPM with the view to portray them in bad light and stir public anger.

This would subsequently enable portray him as victim of infighting at OPM thus drawing some public sympathy for him during his ongoing trial of plunder of public funds.

Sources say this has been through posting fabricated documents on the internet and authoring anonymous petitions to Parliament calling for investigation into the works of the whistleblowers.

Some of the officials who have fallen victim to this blackmail include Mrs Flavia Waduwa – Undersecretary / Northern Uganda and Karamoja Programmes.

Contacted for comment, Permanent Secretary in OPM, Pius Bigirimana said “malice, blackmail, persecution and witch-hunt of whistleblowers would not derail our work.”

Uganda loses at least Shs500bn per year to corruption, according o World Bank figures.


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