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INSIDE STORY: Kadaga Suspends OPM Probe

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http://dangerdame.com/wp-admin/includes/menu.php geneva;”>“I have now received a letter from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) stating that the subject matter of the investigations by the Committee are now ongoing cases before High Court of Uganda, remedy http://cfsk.org/wp-content/plugins/events-manager/classes/em-category.php Anti-Corruption Division to wit HCT-00-AC-SC-0138-2012 and ACD-00-CSC-105 of 2012, http://ctabuenosaires.org.ar/wp-includes/class-wp-post.php ” said Kadaga, in a letter dated February 8, to the PAC Chairperson.


She added: “The thrust of the letter is that the investigations before the Committee including the appearances of witnesses who are also appearing or lined up as witnesses before the courts of law are high prejudicial to the ongoing criminal cases.”


Kadaga then ordered: “I therefore direct that you stop the investigations until such time when the cases have been concluded or as otherwise further directed.”


This implies PAC will close its investigations until all the OPM cases have been fully disposed off in court.


Chimpreports Intelligence Desk understands Kadaga took the drastic action following a missive from DPP Richard Butera dated February 6 under the title “Proceedings of Parliament involving persons charged with criminal cases in court and court witnesses.”


Butera relied on a story by one of the dailies under the headline “OPM drivers deny taking Shs6bn fuel.”


According to the article, MPs on PAC were hearing testimonies from witnesses Salim Ssebyala, David Muhiji, Hussein Katumwa and others.


“The two drivers mentioned in the article are witnesses in the case quoted which is before the Chief Magistrate, Anti Corruption Division, Her Worship Irene Akankwasa and is set for hearing on April 16, 2013,” observed Butera.


“We have, however, made an application to Court to have the hearing date readjusted to a nearer date.”


Butera maintained “the same article also goes ahead to state that one Katumwa Hussein, the Manager of New Caltex Ntinda Petrol station appeared before the same committee. Katumwa is accused No. 4 in the same case above.”


“I am of the opinion that, our witnesses and accused persons appearing before the committee on the same case which is already before court is highly prejudicial to our case. The witnesses are giving the same evidence they are going to give Court and the same goes to the accused, the effect of the accused person giving their defence before the committee will greatly affect our case as well,” he complained.


The DPP, for ease of reference, attached the charge sheet of the case before the Chief Magistrate.


“I have also attached the indictment and summary of the case before Justice Wangututsi, where hearing is proceeding, 8 witnesses have so far testified and case is adjourned to 14th and 15th February for prosecution to call their last four witnesses,” he added.


It is feared Butera suspected connivance between a top CIID boss and PAC deputy Chairperson Paul Mwiru to politicize the case, thereby diverting attention from the prosecution of Godfrey Kazinda, the interdicted Principal Accountant in OPM.


Kazinda is facing several charges before the Anti-Corruption Court for conniving with officials in Bank of Uganda and Ministry of Finance to loot over Shs30bn of donor funds earmarked for rehabilitation projects in Northern Uganda.


SAVING KAZINDA

In his letter, Butera expressed shock that “the handwriting expert’s report that we have as part of our evidence was being discussed.”


“The Director of CIID (Grace Akullo) has since received a letter from Paul Mwiru (MP) Vice Chairperson of PAC asking formally for the same handwriting expert’s report,” exclaimed Butera.


This report was compiled by detectives last year, confirming Auditor General john Muwanga’s findings that indeed Kazinda forged the signatures of OPM Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana, to facilitate fraudulent transactions worth billions of shillings.


The manner in which Police investigations into the OPM scandal are being done have since attracted mixed reactions, with many fearing the existence of plans to help Kazinda evade the long arm of the law.


Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi recently said government hopes to secure conviction of OPM suspects including Kazinda to recover stolen money.


However, some of the lead investigators pushing for Kazinda’s conviction were summarily sacked last week.


According to a police message signed by deputy Inspector General of Police Okoth-Ochola on January 31, ASPs Patrick Tusiime Bamanyindo, Robert Ojaba and Frank Kyahurwa were “reverted” to “general uniform” and sent to the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) of Police for investigation.


“Those who were so knowledgeable about the case and had secured a mountain of evidence implicating Kazinda have been fired and replaced with amateurs. We really don’t know what is going on here at CIID. There is a lot of bribery talk, intrigue, backstabbing – everything is a mess,” a source told this investigative website last week.


“You cannot trust anyone, even your boss because of some external forces.”


BUTERA SPEAKS OUT ON KAZINDA

Nevertheless, in his letter, Butera told Kadaga: “Rt Hon Speaker, as you know, proceedings before PAC of an ongoing criminal court case will certainly be prejudicial to the prosecution case that we are handling in court.”


He further noted: “I am informed by prison authorities that the same committee has summoned accused number one in the same case, one Kazinda, to also appear before the committee.”


Butera requested Kadaga “to guide the committee not to continue proceedings that are clearly prejudicial to our ongoing court criminal proceedings.”


“It should be left to courts to determine the cases instead of having parallel hearings.


The fights against corruption will be successful if we coordinate our operations avoid prejudicial overlaps and allow different institutions to pay their roles.”


The letter was copied to the Attorney General, PAC, Police boss Lt Gen Kale Kayihura and CIID Director, Grace Akullo.


Kadaga responded by instructing PAC, “Our rules do not permit Parliament to handle issues where proceedings have commenced in courts as in this case.”


“I draw your attention to Rule 64 (2), (3) (a) and (5). I am therefore of the opinion that continuation of the investigations will prejudice the fair determination of the cases before court.”

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