By Ruth Anderah
The Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo has withdrawn charges against 4 OPM officials who had been accused of inflating prices of food meant for the vulnerable people under the COVID-19 food relief program last year.
The freed officials are; former permanent secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu, Head of procurement unit Fred Lutimba Kyeyune, Under Secretary Joel Wanjala, and the commissioner of relief and disaster preparedness who was also the head of Covid-19 Relief Management, Martin Owor.
In August, 2020 the DPP ordered for the trial of the accused persons to start before the Anti-corruption division of the High court but according to a letter dated 19th, August 2021 and signed by the DPP herself, charges of abuse of office, fraudulent and false accounting and corruption have been dropped.
The letter tendered before Justice Margaret Tibulya however indicates no reason for withdrawal of the 24 counts against the 4 officials.
Prosecution had alleged 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, and sugar amounting to Shs 32.3 billion in total disregard of the procurement procedures.
The four had again jointly been charged with Martin Owor for colluding to commit a fraudulent practice between March and April 2020.