4 officials from the OPM including the permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu , the accounting officer/ under Secretary Joel Wanjala have been sent on remand at Luzira and Kitalya government prison’s respectively for inflating prices of food relief in this COVID-19 lock down period.
The 2 have been jointly charged alongside John Martin Owor; a commissioner in-charge of relief and disaster preparedness and Henery Lutimba Kyeyune ; an assistant commissioner heading procurement in the OPM, for offenses of colluding to commit fraudulent actions which offend the rules governing procurement and disposal of public Assets (PPDA Act).
After announcing a lock down as one of the measures to prevent the spread of Covid 19 virus , government through the prime minister’s office decided to distribute food relief inform of beans and posho to the masses .
However, prosecution alleges that between 31st/March and 8th/April 2020, the accused inflated the food prices than those offered by suppliers .
The suspects who were arrested last week by the State House Anti-corruption unit have denied the charge before Buganda Road court Grade one magistrate, Doreen Kalungi.
These also made an attempt to apply for bail through their eleven defence lawyers, but the presiding magistrate declined to entertain it on grounds that she cannot conduct lengthy hearings due to the prevailing circumstances of a lock down to prevent the spread of Coronavirus .
The magistrate also explained that the accused’s relatives and laweyers had filled the courtroom to capacity while violating the President’s and ministry of Health guidelines on social distancing.
The accused have been therefore remanded until May 4th 2020 as inquiries in the case continue.