Stolen Katosi Road Money Transferred To Usa - Igg

Stolen katosi road money transferred to usa - igg
Appeared in The Observeron 13 May 2019

Part of the stolen Shs 25bn from the 2014 Katosi road scam has left the country and been transferred to the USA, the inspector general of government (IGG) Justice Irene Mulyagonja has revealed.

Mulyagonja told reporters at the closure of the five-day Commonwealth anti-corruption heads of agencies in Africa meeting at Lake Victoria Serena on Friday evening that her office is aware that part of the money was shipped to the USA.

"We know some monies that have been taken out of the country. One case that we know of I think is the Shs 24bn that was stolen from the Katosi road construction, we know that part of it was taken to the United States of America and we are trying to see if we can recover it." said Mulyagonja.

Last August, former Works minister Abraham Byandala, who was among those accused of theft of the Katosi money got acquitted by the Anti-corruption court of all charges. Instead, businessman Apollo Senketo was found guilty and then convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison.

Senketo had represented a company called Eutaw Construction, a US firm that turned out to be fake, and had been contracted to construct the road in 2014. Through the collaboration with the Commonwealth partners, Uganda has managed to recover $217000 (Shs 819 million) since 2016 that had been taken out of the country by thieves, according to Patricia Scotland, the secretary general of the secretariat.

The IGG said it was hard to recover some of the money because of the way thieves push to hide it in complicated structures in tax havens.

"Thieves in our country steal monies and mostly from transactions of government. They do not necessarily keep those monies in the jurisdiction where they have been stolen…They repatriate funds and they take them to places we know to be safe havens and places where we know international finance to be very profitable and they invest them there. They can invest them in assets which are on ground or they can keep the money in banks." Mulyagonja added.

On President Museveni’s claim that the inspectorate of government (IG) had been infiltrated by wrong elements, the reason he appointed the State House Anti-corruption unit, an official in the IGG’s office, who preferred not to be named, told URN it is not true and they prefer State House to give them information on the matter.

The official said “as the IG, we say give us information and we clean it if you insist we have been infiltrated.”

In their communique, the heads of anti-corruption agencies in Africa called for multi-agency team work in implementation of anti-corruption strategies. They also requested governments in Europe, America and other jurisdictions to work towards speedy repatriation of recovered assets to African countries.