KAMPALA – The State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness has refuted claims circulating online that Mr Richard Masereje was involved in Covid-19 food procurement.
Mr Richard Masereje is an Advocate and Chartered Valuation Surveyor and a managing Partner at Masereje & Co Advocates.
Mr Musa Ecweru said that he only remembers that in 2013, in 2013 Mr Masereje was contracted by OPM as Consultant Transaction Advisor for a specific land transaction which was successfully concluded.
“As for the food transaction, we never contracted him and if anybody wants to find out, he should get in touch with the Criminal investigators who are dealing with the case. As for me I don’t know anything concerning Mr Richard Masereje,” said Mr Ecweru 28 April on phone.
He explained that any information circulating on-line concerning the same should be treated as false as long as it lack the evidence from the CID department.
On April 19, an online report by TrumpetNews maliciously linked Mr Masereje to the Covid 19 food procurement, purportedly arising out of an investigation, in a widely circulated article titled “Richard Masereje the man at the centre of the Covid-19 food scandal.”
Mr Masereje has distanced himself from this and says he is not an employee of OPM in any way and threatened to drug TrumpetNews to court should they fail to apologise for the defamation the article has caused on his reputation.
“I have not at all in any way been involved in the Covid-19 Food procurement by OPM, I was contracted for only one specific land transaction that successfully closed in 2013 and that was it, nobody has come back to me again,” said Mr Masereje.
He described those spreading rumours and allegations that he was involved in COVID 19 food transaction as a bunch of incompetent politicians who are tired, self-deceiving, paranoid and frequently ineffectual who are scared about their voters.
“This incompetence is known by their voters and they are going to take strong action against them during voting time, ” he added.
Bulambuli Land Acquisition:
He explained further that in 2013, he was contracted by OPM as Consultant Transaction Advisor for a specific transaction which was successfully concluded and closed.
The government took possession of the land and has since constructed the houses for resettlement, which were commissioned by non other than the President.
The Covid 19 food scandal
This come barely two weeks after Court 15 April remanded four top officials in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), who were charged with fraudulent practices in connection with the procurement of relief food being supplied to people affected by Covid-19 lockdown.
The officials, including Permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde, Mr Joel Wanjala (Under Secretary and accounting officer), Mr Martin Owor, (commissioner disaster preparedness, and head of the Covid-19 taskforce), and Fred Lutimba (assistant commissioner in charge of procurement), were arraigned before Buganda Road Magistrates Court after spending five days in police custody.
The four denied charges of colluding to commit a fraudulent practice in regard to inflating prices for Covid-19 food stuff under the Public Procurement and Disposal Assets Act and were remanded to Kitalya Government Prison until May 4.