By Fred Kiva
The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has spoken out on the covid19 relief food bribery saga that has left four officials in his office arrested.
In a brief statement, Dr. Rugunda denied involvement in the procurement of posho and beans meant for the lockdown victims, saying allegations on social media linking him to the same are malicious and false.
“Neither the First Lady nor HE the President contacted me about Aponye or any other company to supply posho and beans. Therefore I dismiss these fabrications,” the Prime Minister said.
He added that his attention had been drawn to “a malicious fabrication” making rounds on social media platforms linking him, the First Lady Janet Museveni and President Museveni to procurement issues of beans and posho meant for victims of the covid19 lockdown.
“I would like to inform all that this is absolutely not true. It should be ignored and treated with the contempt it deserves,” he emphasized.
Yesterday(Thursday) four officials in Office of the Prime Minister(OPM) including the Permanent Secretary, Christine Guwattude Kintu were arrested by the team from the State House Anti-Corruption Unit and the Criminal Investigation Directorate over alleged inflation of the relief food prices.
The others arrested were; the Accounting Officer Joel Wanjala, the Assistant Commissioner Procurement, Fred Lutimba and the Commissioner Disaster Management (Head Covid19 Relief Management), Martin Owor.
According to Lt Col Nakalema, the officials were arrested on the directives of President Museveni and were to help in investigations into the allegations. She said the team’s initial findings were that the officials, on top of inflating prices had also rejected lower price offers from various suppliers of maize flour and beans.
The government is currently distributing relief food items to families affected by the lockdown recently imposed by President Museveni as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The distribution of maize flour and beans started from Kampala and Wakiso districts. It will be rolled out to other districts across the country. Aponye Uganda Ltd is the supplier of government relief food.