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IT’S GETTING BLOODY: Chaos as Top Official Nearly Kills Colleague for Blocking His Juicy Deal as Trade Ministry Scandal Deepens

Geraldine Ssali. Courtesy Photo

A lot of rot at Uganda’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) is being exposed as a multi-billion scandal continues to unfold, with the latest allegation being that an official nearly killed a colleague over a juicy deal. The scandal made headlines after a former official at the ministry claimed that Shs400m to transport documents from Farmers House in Kampala to Entebbe.

After quizzing Evarist Ahimbisibwe, the former Principal Administrative Secretary at the Ministry, Parliament’s Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee chaired by MP Mwine Mpaka of Mbarara South, interrogated Tom Opio, an office attendant at the same ministry.

Opio is accused of playing a role in the procurement of vehicles for ministers and other top officials. The alleged fraudulent procurement of vehicles and diversion of money meant for rent are some of the thorny issues characterizing the current scandal.

On July 06, junior minister Fred Mwebesa and MTIC Permanent Secretary Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa addressed reporters in Kampala. Ssali, who has been summoned to go and explain her role in the scandal, said she was ready to go and face the committee.

She denied reports by Ahimbisibwe that the ministry had spent Shs400m on transporting documents, saying the figure was about Shs59m.

The PS then alleged that Ahimbisbwe and others had been implicated in the inflation of procurement figures for the purchase of vehicles and wanted to pocket hundreds of millions of tax payers’ monies but were stopped. Ssali also accused her junior official of flouting procedures for the disposal of vehicles so as to gain millions for himself and his accomplices.

That he even threatened to kill an official who reported his fraudulent dealings, blocking him from minting hundreds of millions off a procurement project.   

But in another twist, Ahimbisibwe told the committee that he was transferred from MTIC after he declined to append his signature to a contract with costs and figures that he said were clearly inflated.

According to Ssali, the top administration at MTIC took disciplinary proceedings against Ahimbisibwe. She says that it is for this reason that Ahimbisibwe is ready to, according to her, tell lies so as to tarnish the ‘good image’ of the ministry.

You can read about the shocking revelation that Shs400m was spent to transport documents from Kampala to Entebbe and PS Geraldine’s official position on the matter HERE.  

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