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Crime & Investigation

Ex UBC Chief Kihika Arrested Over Shs 12bn Scam

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Former UBC boss, Paul Kihika

The police manhunt for former Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) boss Paul Kihika has materialized.

Kihika was arrested on Wednesday evening after eluding detectives for several weeks.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Emillian Kayima said he would ask for information about the matter tomorrow morning.

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But officials told ChimpReports that Kihika was detained at Jinja Road Police Station in Kampala.

“Yes, we have him in our cells,” said a source who preferred anonymity as she was not authorized to speak to the media.

Kihika is accused of corruption, giving false information and misuse of office.

This website is informed that the Director of Public Prosecution has since sanctioned Kihika’s file and that he could be arraigned before court on Thursday.

Police have been investigating Kihika over fraudulent dealings and causing the national broadcaster a financial loss of over Shs 2.5bn.

It is alleged that during his reign as UBC boss, Kihika operated a business entity that competed directly with the public broadcaster.

The said business called Rugarwana Industries Ltd sold frequencies 107.3 and 87.7FM to one House of Prayer Ministries International Ltd for Shs 575m and Shs 950m respectively.

In the sale agreement for the same, Kihika signed as vendor in the named transaction.

Interestingly, these frequencies were reportedly reserved for UBC, with 107.3 FM assigned to Butebo FM and 87.7 FM to protect the signal of Star FM.

Police also reportedly unearthed documents in Mr Kihika’s briefcase that confirmed his involvement in the sale of this frequency.

These included cheque books belonging to Rugarwana Industries, a money disbursement table for the money received in the transaction.

The table indicated that Shs 90m was paid to lawyers Mushabe, Munungu and Company Advocates to “put pressure” on UCC.

It was discovered that the Notice of Intention to sue by the law firm being given instructions to handle the UBC-Haba case in the Supreme Court in which a consent agreement by UBC to pay Shs 35bn to Haba Group was concluded and from the firm’s payment was to be derived.

Whereas UBC had successfully won cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal, in which Judges recommended that the agreement of sale of land to Haba Group and others was null and void, and UBC was expected to refund only the sale value of the land stated at Shs 11.5bn, it was interesting to find that UBC in the Supreme Court entered into a consent judgement to pay Haba Group Shs 35bn.

Defence

However, on January 2, 2017, Kihika wrote to Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo, complaining of “victimization” by the IGG.

Kihika further accused Mulyagonja of “malice” and working hard to keep him out of employment in public office.

In her response, Mulyagonja said Kihika intended to divert attention from the real issues and tarnish the name of the Inspectorate of Government.
Kihika’s manner in which he drew questionable travel allowances is also under probe.

He is also facing probe over irregular /fraudulent charging of sales commissions amounting to Shs 432m.

The former UBC boss is also being investigated for issuing unapproved rates to tenants resulting into loss of $198,000 and diversion of proceeds from the sale of land amounting to Shs 1.1bn.

As if this is not enough, Kihika is facing police for reported irregular payment of allowances to staff and unaccounted-for funds amounting to Shs 190m and $10,000.

A forensic report into UBC showed that “considerable losses may have been occasioned by UBC through mismanagement of the human resources and assets of the Corporation.”

Mulyagonja said in her letter to Lokodo that “Kihika’s claim that IG investigations have tarnished his name or resulted in his current unemployment and that he is being victimized by IG is unsustainable.”

Lokodo gave Mulyagonja a green light to proceed with investigations against Kihika in “accordance with the Constitution and statutory powers of the IG.”

Contacted for a comment recently, UBC chairman Board of Directors, Simon Kaheru said they were surprised and  concerned by Kihika’s conduct.

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