Hearing of the case in which four OPM officials who are accused of inflating prices of food meant for the vulnerable poor under the COVID-19 food relief program; has been pushed to 1st April 2021.
This is because the trial Judge Magret Tibulya and one of the accused persons Guwatudde Christine Kintu former Permanent Secretary Office of the Prime Minister has been reported sick.
However, Prosecution’s James Khauka, informed Anti-corruption Court Registrar Pamela Lamunu Ochaya who was presiding over the case this morning; that he was ready to proceed with the trial of the accused persons and had come with six witnesses.
In August 2020 the Director of Public Prosecution Janefrances Abodo ordered for the trial of the accused persons to start.
These who include PS Guwatudde Christine Kintu, the Head Procurement Unit- Lutimba Kyeyune Fred, the Under Secretary- Joel Wanjala and the Commissioner in charge of relief Disaster Preparedness and Head of the Covid 19 Relief Management- Martin Owor are facing 24 counts that include Abuse of Office, Fraudulent false accounting and Corruption.
Prosecution alleges that in abuse of the authority of their respective offices; Guwatudde and Kyeyune prepared and issued an award letter to various companies to supply maize, beans, milk, sugar amounting to Shs 32.340.000.000 billion in total disregard of the procurement procedure
They allegedly committed the Offence between 31st March and 9th April 2020 at OPM offices along Sir Apollo Kaggwa road from where Lutimba Kyeyune Fred is further alleged to have neglected to perform his duty of advising the contracts committee on procurement procedures which omission amounted to Corruption.
Guwatudde Christine, Lutimba Kyeyune Fred, and the Under Secretary- Joel Wanjala are also alleged to have fraudulently made or were privy to making a false entry in an award letter for several companies to supply COVID-19 relief food items; purporting that the same entry was allocated by the OPM contracts committee whereas not.
These three are again jointly charged with Martin Owor for colluding to commit a fraudulent practice.
However, they maintain they are innocent and are out on bail.