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Byandala, 6 Others to Answer for Katosi Road Scam

Justice Gidudu ruled that prosecution team led by Sarah Birungi; the Director of Legal Affairs in the Inspectorate of Government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the group had a role to play in the scam that resulted in a financial loss of 24.7 billion shillings for the government of Uganda.
Formers works minister Abraham Byandala having a conversation with his lawyer during a court break today
The Anti-Corruption Court Judge Lawrence Gidudu has today ruled that former works minister Abraham James Byandala and six others have a case to answer in relation to the Katosi road scam.

Justice Gidudu ruled that prosecution team led by Sarah Birungi; the Director of Legal Affairs in the Inspectorate of Government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the group had a role to play in the scam that resulted in a financial loss of 24.7 billion shillings for the government of Uganda.

The prosecution alleges that Byandala abused his office when he directed the immediate signing of a contract between the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA and an American firm EUTAW Construction Co. Inc, in November 2013 to upgrade Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi-Nyenga road in Mukono and Buikwe Districts. The project was valued at 165 billion Shillings.

Subsequently, UNRA made an advance payment of 24 billion Shillings to Eutaw and commenced works on Byandala's directive.

Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA later terminated the multi-billion road contract upon establishing that the company entered into a contract under false pretext, that it lacked the capacity to conduct the roadworks and its contract was signed without a valid performance guarantee.

But Byandala, according to the Inspector General of Government, ordered for the continuation of the works by Chongqing International Construction Company, a firm subcontracted by EUTAW despite the termination by UNRA. He is now charged with abuse of office, causing financial loss to the government and disobeying lawful orders.

Byandaala is accused jointly with businessman Apollo Senkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubula who was the country representative of Eutaw Construction Company, former UNRA acting executive director Eng Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, Joe Ssemugooma- the former UNRA director of finance and administration and Marvin Baryaruha-the former UNRA legal director.

Kimeze and the team from UNRA, are faulted for signing the award, communicating the same to Eutaw Construction Co. Inc without complying with procurement laws, advancing payment even while aware of the company's shortcomings, and conniving to produce performance guarantees and securities that resulted in financial loss to the government.

Marvin Baryaruha-the former UNRA legal director is separately charged for misadvising Eng Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze to sign a contract with Eutaw Construction Co. Inc.

Apolo Senkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubula, who was acting as a country representative of Eutaw Construction Company is charged with two counts of obtaining money b false pretence, six counts of uttering false documents, two counts of obtaining execution of security by false pretence and one count of conspiracy to defraud the government.

Isaac Mugote charged with conspiracy to defraud the government and abetting an offence that led to financial loss.

They start their defence starts on October 30.

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