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2 senior govt officials remanded to Luzira over illegitimate wealth

Umar Katongole and Ms Sengendo respectively remanded to Luzira Maximum Prison. (PHOTO/Racheal)

KAMPALA – Two senior government officials have been charged and remanded to Luzira Prison over illegitimate wealth.

Mr. Umar Katongole, a principal engineer in the Ministry of Works and Transport and Ms. Hawah Sengendo also known as Kawa Bitone, a Senior Community Development Officer in Wobulenzi Town Council in Luwero District were arrested on July 8 by the Inspectorate of government.

They have been charged officially before grade one magistrate, Mr. Moses Nabende at Anticorruption Court where charges of illicit enrichment and money laundering were read to them. However, Nabenda did not allow them to say anything.

“This court has no jurisdiction to take your plea since it is a capital offence that can only be heard in the High Court. I have only instructions to read the charges for you, however, you will plead to them before the High Court which also has the jurisdiction to hear your bail application,” Mr. Nabenda said before remanding them until July 24 for the mention of their case.

According to the statement by the Inspector General of government, Mr. Katongole owned property disproportionate to his income.

It is alleged that in 2015, Mr. Katongole being a station engineer at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) was in control and possession of property comprised of five untitled plots at Kabowa, Lusaka Zone, Makindye; six others at Ziranumbu whose total value was established to be Shs6.28 billion which was disproportionate to his income, past known sources of income and assets whose sum for duration 2008-2015 was established by the IGG to be Shs316.8 million.

The state alleges that on August 25, 2015, in Kampala District, Mr. Katongole transferred four plots of land at Wakiso to Darkins Uganda Limited for purposes of disguising the illicit origin, knowing or having reason to believe that such properties are proceeds of crime.

It is alleged that between September 3 and 7 2015 in Kampala, Mr. Katongole transferred three plots to Darkins Uganda Limited for purposes of disguising the illicit origin of properties knowing or having reason to believe that such properties are proceeds of crime.

The IGG contends that between April 4 and August 11, 2015, at Tropical Bank main branch in Kampala, Mr. Katongole and Ms. Sengendo deposited Shs2.849 billion for purposes of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of funds, knowing or having reason to believe that the said funds were proceeds of crime.

According to the statement, on June 27, 2015, at Tropical Bank Main Branch in Kampala, Ms. Sengendo withdrew Shs380 million from a joint account held with Mr. Katongole and transferred it to another account he solely operated in the same bank.

The state alleges that on July 13, 2015, Ms. Sengendo deposited a total of Shs466 million to her account for purposes of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of funds having a reasons to believe that the said funds are proceeds of crime.

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