Two officials hailing from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have found themselves in legal jeopardy as they face corruption charges.
Their alleged transgressions involve accepting bribes totaling a substantial Shs689 million in exchange for manipulating the tendering process. These officials have now been remanded to Luzira prison.
The accused parties are Mr. Dathan Nuwagaba Kahima, aged 37, who served as the project engineering officer within the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP), and Ms. Pamela Besigye, aged 45, who held the role of district engineering assistant under the same DRDIP project.
These individuals, alongside two businessmen, have made their appearance before Grade One Magistrate Esther Asiimwe, where they vigorously denied the charges leveled against them.
Preceding their court appearance, the group spent a night in the custody of Central Police Station in Kampala, following their apprehension by the Inspector General of Government (IGG).
The OPM officials are slated to return to court today, where their bail application will be assessed. Mr. Rogers Kinobe, the supervisor for prosecutions at the IGG, is anticipated to petition for criminal summons for the two businessmen who remain at large.
In relation to the charges, Mr. Nuwagaba stands accused of indirectly receiving in excess of Shs689 million between the period of February 2021 and June 2022.
This sum is alleged to have been an incentive for recommending various companies and individuals for tenders and contracts under the DRDIP project at OPM.
Conversely, Ms. Besigye faces a solitary corruption count. The IGG asserts that she played an accomplice role in soliciting and receiving over Shs689 million from companies and individuals who had secured tenders for works and services under the DRDIP project.
This illicit activity is said to have transpired between February 2021 and June 2022. Moreover, she faces allegations of divulging insider information to bidders in order to facilitate their acquisition of tenders from OPM within the DRDIP project.
Bribery charges extend to one of the businessmen, who is accused of depositing Shs190 million into an account at Centenary Bank’s Mapeera branch. This sum was allegedly offered as a reward to officials working under the DRDIP project, as acknowledgment for their involvement in securing tenders and contracts.
A similar charge is placed on the other businessman, who purportedly deposited Shs15 million into a separate account at the same bank branch for comparable reasons.
Furthermore, the OPM officials are collectively charged with abuse of office. It is alleged that they exploited their positions to unfairly influence the tender awarding process, favoring companies that had offered bribes. This conduct is believed to have prejudiced both OPM and legitimately qualified companies that were unjustly sidelined from the selection process.