Pension scammers passports withheld, for arrest


The suspects: (L-R) Steven Lwanga, Kiwanuka Kunsa, Jimmy Lwamafa, Mr Francis Lubega, and Christopher Obey at court in Kampala. (Photo by Daily Monitor)


The Anti-Corruption Court has declined to release passports to freed suspects in the multi-billion pension scam case.

Uganda Radio Network reports that shortly after the suspects were freed, four of the nine went back and applied to have their passports returned.

Chief Magistrate Sarah Langa Siu who had earlier on dismissed the case against them, refused to release their passports on grounds that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mike Chibita, has since revealed that he intends to reinstate the case and have it prosecuted to its logical conclusion.

It was feared that the freed suspects could be planning to flee the country and that by the time the DPP reinstates the corruption related charges against them, they would be nowhere to be found.

On April 13, Langa dismissed the charges against the nine suspects, six of whom are top officials from the Public Service Ministry.

Magistrate Langa cited prosecution’s failure to prosecute the case when she observed that that not even a single witness was lined up to testify against the suspects, two years since charges were pressed against them.

The Magistrate said that the court’s patience had been tested by the delay.

The suspects including interdicted Permanent Secretary, Jimmy Lwamafa, were accused of fleecing pensioners of more than Shs 165bn which was allegedly paid to 2605 non-existing beneficiaries through a syndicated fraud scheme.

The other officials were; Christopher Obey (former principal accountant), Steven Kunsa Kiwanuka (former director for research and development), David Japins Oloka (former senior accounts assistant), Francis Lubega (former information system analyst), Steven Lwanga (former account assistant), Peter Ssajjabi (East African Community Beneficiaries Association), Ishaka Sentongo (Assistant Manager Operations Cairo Bank) and Ms Rahmah Nakigozi Mugeere (Compliance Officer, Cairo Bank).

Meanwhile, another report came up indicating that two police detectives; George Komurubuga and Moses Kato who were investigating the case took bribes and led to the dismissal of the case.

Yesterday, MPs grilled the head of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID), Grace Akullo, and Internal Affairs minister, Aronda Nyakairima, over the bribery saga.

The MPs demanded that the two police officers named in the scam be arrested while decrying the apparent lack of interest in theft of pension funds and in-fighting and corruption at CIID.

While Aronda promised to act, MPs also resolved to summon the Police Chief, Gen Kale Kayihura, to answer a question or two.

Kayihura has since accepted that police came short during the investigations but denied instances of bribery.


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