Five Ex-Bosses of UPPC Charged Over Ugx2.2Billion Embezzlement

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Five former employees of Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) have been charged with causing financial loss amounting to over two billion Uganda shillings.

The suspects are identified as Prof. Wasswa, Tom Davis, former Managing Director; Kasekende Mujjuzi Arstraco, former Finance Manager; Kigonya Robert, former Sales Executive Manager; Ahimbisibwe John Baptist; and Ayebare Catherine, former Accounts Assistant.

According to police, efforts to hunt for three other suspects are ongoing.

It is alleged that during the financial years 2019–2020 and 2020–2021, UPPC entered into three contracts with the Electoral Commission to print and publish materials for polling stations for the purposes of displaying the National Register for the 2020–2021, General Elections, and nominating candidates for parliamentary and local government elections.

“As a result, the Electoral Commission transferred to the UPPC an estimated total sum of funds totaling Ugx. 15, 153,030,709/= (15 billion, one hundred fifty-three million, thirty thousand, seven hundred nine shillings), out of which Ugx. 2,261,003,034/= was allegedly embezzled,” police stated.

Under clause 5.9.4 of the Sales and Marketing policy of UPPC, jobs and contracts from ministries, government departments, and professional bodies (under which EC falls) were classified as “direct procurement” that were not commissionable and, as such, did not require the services of a commission agent or business executive and did not attract a charge of 18% of the money paid to UPPC. The alleged Board resolution, which they claim was passed on December 19, 2019, to alter clause 5.9.4 and introduce an 18% commission on all jobs and contracts from ministries, departments, and professional bodies was neither filed nor registered with the Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB).

However, according to the police statement, on 07.08.2020, 21.05.2021, and 28.06.2021, respectively, he fraudulently transferred funds from the UPPC Company Bank Accounts into his private account. They quickly withdrew those funds and converted them into their personal accounts.

According to the police, the casefile was submitted to the DPP, and charges of causing financial loss under Section 20(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 (as amended), dealing with suspect property under Section 21 of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 (as amended), and conspiracy to defraud under Section 309 of the Penal Code Act were filed against 8 suspects, of whom 5 were arrested and charged.

The police stated that efforts are in place to trace and arrest the other 3 remaining suspects and produce them in court.

The Directorate of CID, in coordination with the DPP and other partners, remains committed to identifying, investigating, and prosecuting all those who attempt to enrich themselves through fraudulent means and will further ensure they are held accountable for their actions.

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