The arrest of an alleged impostor who had sought Shs20m from a top government to help him escape interrogation by Nakawa West MP Joel Ssenyonyi’s Public Accounts Committee in charge of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) has reignited debate on corruption in accountability committees.
On August 18, 2021, Police at Parliament arrested Francis Malinga for reportedly trying to extort money from a top government official.
Parliament declined to name the official.
But acting clerk to Parliament Henry Yoweri Waiswa claimed Malinga was armed with “a fake whistleblower’s letter” addressed to Ssenyonyi.
Waiswa added that Malinga had “alleged that he was a staff of Parliament who would help the official have his name cleared.”
In his whistleblower’s letter, which Waiswa claimed was fake, the 47-year-old Malinga alleged that the government official had “amassed unexplained wealth.”
That Malinga had asked for Shs20m from the wealthy top government official.
“The official reported the matter to the administration of Parliament who in turn informed the police at Parliament. The police arrested Malinga as he waited to ‘pick’ the money at a restaurant on Jinja Road in Kampala,” further explained Waiswa.
This allegation points to several reports of accountability committees receiving bribes to kill Investigations into corruption and mismanagement of government funds.
A few years ago, a photo of Ssenyonyi’s Cosase predecessor Mubarak Munyagwa with then acting KCCA executive director Eng Andrew Kitaka appeared online amidst an investigation into the city authority’s use of billions of funds.
Both President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni and the administration of Parliament have complained of corruption in committees.
In this case, it remains to be seen if Ssenyonyi of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) will followup the case and expose the government official who Parliament is yet to name as police and courts deal with Malinga’s extortion case.