Former minister summoned over missing funds

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Former minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo.

By Watera Atai,

KAMPALA:

Police Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has issued summons to former minister for presidency, Esther Mbayo over missing funds at Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC)

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The summons comes at a moment when police is investigating alleged embezzlement of funds meant for UPPC, abuse of office, and causing of financial loss of UPPC where Mbayo was the supervisor.

In a September 13 summon letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Mbayo is being investigated by the Economic Crimes and Financial Intelligence unit of the Criminal Investigations Division.

“The Directorate of Criminal Investigations is investigating allegations of abuse of office, embezzlement and causing financial loss of Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation where you were the supervisor of the said corporation from 2019 to 2021,” the reads in part

It should be recalled that the new minister for presidency, Milly Babirye Babalanda recently suspended the UPPC staff on the aforementioned allegations and ordered a probe into allegations of corruption at the UPPC.

The suspended include; UPPC Managing Director Dr Tom Wasswa, and the board of the organization over the mess.

“Using my powers as Line Minister under Sec.6 of the UPPC Act, yesterday I temporarily suspended the M.D and Board of UPPC. The action is intended to pave way for investigations into allegations of corruption and forgery. All other staff is urged to continue working normally,” Babalanda tweeted on August, 18.

She also put on halt any further transactions at UPPC especially those related to procurement projects , noting that in case of anything, she has to authorize the same.

Soon after the suspension was issued, minister appointed James Tweheyo the Managing Director in acting capacity..

In abid to enforce the minister’s directive, detectives at CID intercepted and recovered shs600 million from a government office destined to be paid to a senior officer at the Electoral Commission.

The money was part of the shs3 billion that the suspects including UPPC’s Managing Director, Prof. Waswa Tomas Davis are alleged to have looted from the corporation.

Mbayo was until June, the Minister for Presidency and therefore directly in charge of the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation which was under her ministry.

According to investigators, as the supervisor of the UPPC, she ought to have detected and prevented the alleged embezzlement of funds/

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