KAMPALA — The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has defended himself from reports linking him among the top government officials behind the fraudulent purchase of UGX. 52bn food relief to Ugandans affected by the lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
“I dismiss this fabrications,” the Prime Minister said.
Dr. Rugunda’s denial delivered via his official Twitter handle late Thursday night also absolved First Lady Janet Museveni and the President in having any hand in the selection of firms to deliver the now controversial tender by Aponye (U) Limited of Kabale based businessman Apollo Nyegamehe.
The scandal plagued beans and posho were distributed to Ugandans who were left with no income and food following the lockdown.
Dr. Rugunda wrote:
“I would like to inform you all that this is absolutely not true. It should be ignored and treated with contempt it deserves. Neither the First Lady, not the President contacted me about Aponye or any other company to supply posho and beans. Therefore, I dismiss these fabrications”.
The Prime Minister’s statement comes in the wake of the arrest of top OPM officials by the State House Ant-corruption unit headed by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema.
Those arrested for allegedly inflating prices of posho and beans include Christine Guwatudde Kintu the Permanent Secretary, Joel Wanjala, the Under Secretary, the Assistant Commissioner Procurement Mr. Fred Lutimba and Martin Owor the Commissioner for Disaster Management. They are accused of ignoring other suppliers.
Parliament earlier in the week approved UGX. 284bn supplementary budget for COVID-19 intervention and OPM was allocated UGX. 52bn to be used to purchase food, with Parliament recommending to the Executive to look for additional funding to provide food relief to other districts, apart from the two million people earmarked in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono.