Disclaimer: Words expressed in this article do not represent the opinion of Showbiz Uganda staff.
As the CID and IGG continue to dig in and noose around the main suspects especially that took the Shs 24bn which was paid to the Eutaw Uganda account of only one signatory a one famous Senketo, Eng Abraham Byandala the main suspect that gave a blanket directive to UNRA to sign a contract with a sham company has increasingly become desperate and has so far spent close to a billion shillings in bribes and paying spin agents on social media and radios.
When police summoned him to Kireka, he ran to PM Rugunda for political shielding but it didn’t work out. He later chose to bribe a police officer so as to allow him record a statement undercover/in camera. And this happened for a fact. But all the same, no nonsense akullo stood her ground and declared him a prime suspect. One wonders how Byandala, a declared Prime suspect continues to serve as minister.Works minister Eng. Abraham Byandala listening while his deputy John Byabagambi raises a point during a meeting with the physical infrastructure committee in the past
The Police tough action on Byandala by the police happened apparently after the president had got intelligence information that Byandala working with his God father Mbabazi were crafting a strategy to blackmail Museveni, his family and some of his ministers especially from the west so as to make it a tribal matter. Mbabazi was a direct beneficiary of Katosi money because his Chinese company cico got the illegal subcontract. That is why some of Mbabazi’s allies in government were still shamelessly sticking to their guns and defending cico to go on with works despite IGG’S indictment
Their diversion strategy
First, they wanted the public to believe that just like many other projects where political controversy has always come in because of Presidential directives that the same applied to Katosi. Indeed Byandala and his other co accused suspects have been heavily sponsoring talk that state house directed on Katosi to handle it expeditiously and that that is the reason why due diligence was not done. Even Byandala initially alluded to meetings in state house. That is how also their hired man Okwalinga brings in first family members like Geoffrey Kamuntu in his many face book posts. What is however defeating them is that much as Hon Byandala alluded to meetings of Eutaw directors in state house with the President and also with the Vice President, nothing in writing in form of a directive has been tabled to show that indeed state house had interest in the matter and thus directed in one way or another to fast track the project. In fact our sources have intimated to us that in one of the meetings between the suspects and their lawyers the possibility to forge a Museveni letter was explored and one person tasked to see its viability. Intelligence however picked this and the president was briefed. That is why the investigating officers both of SIU and IGG are directly in touch with Museveni and they attend any meeting the president calls on Katosi so that no one misleads the president with rehearsed diversionary stories. All this has left Byandala stuck and only at the mercy of God to be saved from Luzira.
Secondly, the Byandala suspects group has since put up a substantial chunk of money perhaps a portion of the 24bn to investigate in diversionary PR schemes, social media etc and also target those individuals they suspect to have blown the whistle on the dubious profile of Eutaw. They are targeting journalists and Mps to write and speak stories that directly contradict the lines of the investigators and thus work on public opinion such that by the time the suspects go to court the public mood and judgement is diffident. The more the scandal can rotate around the politicians associated with state house the better for Byandala and his colleague suspects to go undercover. This strategy worked in Chogm for many of the suspects.
Why Byandala And His Squad Hate And Target Tumwebaze Of All?
The suspects are so bitter with Tumwebaze and highly suspect him for having been behind the efforts that exposed the whole Katosi fraud to the President who eventually tasked his trusted IGG to swing into action. That is why Byandala in his initial interview with Observer newspaper accused Tumwebaze of having been the person that was taking stories about katosi fraud to New Vision. He was essentially suspecting him of having been the whistle blower. When combative Tumwebaze then fired Byandala back, Byandala has since then never talked again to substantiate his claims. He now speaks through hired agents like Tamale Mirundi, who has been desperately trying to tribalise the issue so as to give Byandala Baganda sympathy as if he(Byandala shared the loot with them). And Tamale mirundi for unknown reasons has been going on various fm baganda radios drumming up Byandala tribal support as he attacks Tumwebaze veraciously. Part of Tumwebaze’s strongly worded statement hitting at Byandala that was widely published in all print media then read as….”Just for the record, in 2010, when this procurement was reportedly happening, I was a backbencher in Parliament. I was not a Cabinet minister. Hon Byandala should explain how I influenced that procurement whether directly or indirectly. Did I put him on pressure? Did I write to him? Did I do any bidding for anyone? Is it me who instructed him to write to UNRA asking them to award a contract before due diligence was done? He further states that he once attended a meeting in Kisozi or state house with the directors of the American company. So was i part of that meeting?. And again what did that alluded to state house meeting have to do with the procurement in question? Politics aside, i pray that logic prevails here. Secondly, he attempts to link me to a company he calls Tides and says that he was told it is owned either by my relatives or those of Minister Byabagambi, Robert Kabushenga (Vision Group CEO) or former minister Richard Kaijuka. It is absurd that the minister can rely on hearsay to malign colleagues in that manner. But even if that company was owned by my relatives or those of the other people he mentions, and supposing it’s also true the alleged company was in a way associated with Eutaw, how does that link up with the procurement process that his ministry undertook and concluded with his own intervention and directive put in writing? This is yet another contradiction on his part. If UNRA and its parent supervisory ministry of works initiated a procurement process for Katosi road and through a lengthy procedure as explained by himself (Hon Byandala) picked that company, later cancelled a process on their own and yet later on and again on their own revived it, how then does the minister say that the company was sourced by other people? It doesn’t add up. If he insists that his sector did the right thing let him defend that”…
But What are real Issues that focus shouldn’t be lost on in this whole katosi fraud or else the investigations get derailed and diverted?
Majorly there are three or four issues of interest that make the Katosi road procurement a sham and which Byandala helped to create. And it’s these that the President has directed firmly the investigative squads to stick to and resist deliberately orchestrated political diversions.
1. Why was the procurement process at UNRA that moreover took so long fail to unearth the status of a bidder as a ghost company? Even without going to USA, couldn’t UNRA use Internet to get some basic facts about the company? Couldn’t the American embassy in Kampala or the Ugandan Embassy in washing ton be contacted to verify the company and its directors? How could all these basic and obvious facts fail to be detected from the beginning of the procurement process to the end and even at the point of payment?
2. What motivation was Byandala working under to interfere directly with a procurement process at the stage of due diligence, and order for the contract to be signed thus circumventing key critical stages of post evaluation like due diligence? Had he not done this, 24b wouldn’t have been lost. So madam Grace Akullo is very spot on to categorize Byandala as the key prime suspect. He has to explain himself and stop using other people as scape goats.
3. Most worrying of all is why would an international company with such much reputation as it claimed, accept to be paid a substantial amount of money($10b) through a local account in Uganda yet the foreign company itself had never registered here. Why wouldn’t it raise eyebrows at UNRA accounts department or even at bank of Uganda that clears payments, to see all these amounts of money get paid to a local account? Why wasn’t money frozen by BOU? Since the company had accepted to be treated as a local company, one wonders for example whether UNRA was about to withhold 6% as withholding tax that all domestic entities trading with government are supposed to pay by those paying deducting it from source? Did UNRA withhold 6% from Eutaw’s 24billion? These are the fundamental issues that the investigators are zeroing on and which hits hard the suspects Byandala inclusive.
So my dear Okwalinga and your network of the hired Byandala and team spin doctors these are facts you cannot run from. Byandala and his accomplices must pay for their sins. However much you cook stories that don’t add up to bring in names like Tumwebaze so as to achieve your other political agendas facts remain facts and your man must face the law.
Numerous Attempts At Tumwebaze
So far in your anti Tumwebaze aggressive highly paid for social media campaign, you have told several glaring lies and as each gets dismantled or fails to convince any person of basic sane mind you go back to craft more. It’s okay do so because you have to account for your share from the Katosi loot.
Just to remind of the few you have been selling in the 5 days;
One, you said Tumwebaze was suspended by the President hours later government rubbished you and come Monday 2/2/2015, the man will be at his desk
Second, you said that SFC was investigating Tumwebaze for undermining Brig. Muhoozi among the youth. That alone fell flat and everyone laughed it off
Third, now you are on your earlier attempts to cover up the real fraudsters of Katosi with the same old diversionary stories Byandala started.
Byandala should carry his own cross and fight as a man. In fact Police and IGG should help the country to take the suspects to court as first as possible otherwise bits of the Katosi loot will block the process.
Sanity debate advocate