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Uganda: DPP to sell off Obey, Lwamafa property

Kampala- The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Justice Mike Chibita, has revealed that his office has applied to the High Court for an order to sell off property of former top Public Service officials Jimmy Lwamafa, Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa and Christopher Obey to recover Shs50b they stole from the pension account.

When the Anti-Corruption Court convicted Obey (former principal accountant in the pension department); Kunsa (former director for Research and Development in same ministry) and Lwamafa (the ministry’s former permanent secretary) in November 2016, in addition to sentencing them to prison, the judge ordered that their property be auctioned to recover the stolen money meant for pension.

Mr Chibita said his office intends to conclude the process of moving the High Court’s Executions Division to have the trio’s properties auctioned.

In an exclusive interview with this newspaper at his chambers in Kampala yesterday, Justice Chibita listed top cases that his office will prosecute in court this year.

The cases
The high profile cases include; the sale of property of Lwamafa, Obey and Kunsa to recover the stolen Shs50b for pension; the refugee corruption scandal in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and a third case which Chibita described as “the biggest pension scam” in Uganda’s history.

The other case the DPP will handle this year is the treason case against Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and others.

The case pertains to last year’s Arua by-election violence.

Mr Chibita promised to conclude the investigations into the case and have the suspects committed to the High Court for trial.

In breaking down the cases, Justice Chibita revealed that the OPM refugee corruption scandal will be jointly prosecuted with the office of the Inspector General of Government (IGG).

“We are investigating this matter with the office of the IGG. We have demarcated territory. Usually, when the IGG is handling a matter, we don’t handle and the reverse is true. But in this particular one, government has agreed that both offices can do it given the urgency and importance of the matter that involves the international community too,” the DPP said.

He continued: “The IGG is handling one component and we are handling another.

We have been having meetings chaired by the Prime Minister to give updates and our team is already on the ground.”

The chief government prosecutor said the refugee corruption scandal file involves a number of UN agencies and this means issues of immunity, international community and relations must be taken into account.

Last year, this newspaper ran a story about the refugee corruption scandal that hit the OPM.

The allegations ranged from fraud regarding food assistance and refugee numbers, refugees being required to pay bribes in order to get registered and scholarships meant for refugees being given to Ugandans.

Other accusations were; trafficking of underage girls and young women to marry men who are not of their choice after paying a bribe to officials at the border crossing points.

There were also claims that refugee officials interfere in the election of leaders in refugee communities to prevent individuals deemed “vocal” from getting elected.

The second high profile matter the DPP will handle this year is the case which he described as the “biggest pension scam” in Uganda.

Mr Chibita explained that following the glitch they faced in the original pension case which was dismissed by court but later reinstated, his office reviewed the defects and split the matter into three separate cases.

Of the three cases, he said they have already secured convictions in the first two.

The first two pension cases involved Obey (former principal accountant in the pension department); Kiwanuka Kunsa (former director for Research and Development) and Lwamafa (the ministry’s former permanent secretary).

The third pension case will soon be lodged in court and Justice Chibita branded it the ‘biggest’ of the three.

The other major case that chief prosecutor will handle this year is finalising the investigations into the treason case against several opposition MPs including Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

The investigators are now left with only two months to conclude the investigations into the Arua by-election violence and have the suspects committed to the High Court for trial.

“People with first-hand knowledge of what happened in Arua fracas will be asked to testify. Even the President’s security will.

The only person who will be exempted from this is the President given his immunity,” he said.

In August last year, Bobi Wine and four other MPs were charged with treason on account that they stoned President Museveni’s car during the by-election campaigns.

Their case now before Gulu magistrate’s court resumes tomorrow with the State expected to provide update on the progress of investigations.

By Daily Monitor 

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