4.7B LC bicycle scam: Senior gov’t official wanted

A senior government official has been summoned to appear in court for allegedly hiding former works ministry engineer Robert Kakiiza, who is facing trial over the sh4.7b bicycle scam.

Kakiiza, who had disappeared for close to 10 years, is accused of awarding a deal worth sh4.7b to a bicycle supply firm, Amman Industrial Tool and Equipment Ltd AITE, that later turned out to be fraudulent.

He is currently on trial on charges of abuse of office before Justice Lawrence Gidudu, the Anti-Corruption Court head.

Kakiiza was a member of the evaluation committee in the procurement of the 70,000 bicycles by the Ministry of Local Government.

According to court documents, Kakiiza jumped Police bond in 2011 after an arrest warrant was issued against him. With the help of the State House Anti- Corruption Unit, he was arrested on April 29, 2019, at the office of the Kampala deputy resident city commissioner, Hajjat Hawa Ntege.

Yesterday, Buganda Road Court Principle Grade One Magistrate, Robert Mukanza, issued a criminal summons against Ntege after she failed to turn up in court to answer charges of obstruction of justice. The offense attracts a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, on conviction.

The magistrate extended the summons to December 16 after her lawyer, Francis Harimwomugasho, said Ntege is attending a three-week training, but he did not disclose where the training is taking place.

State attorney Patricia Cingotho had sought a warrant of arrest, arguing that Ntege received the summons but did not honor it.

Kakiiza is reported to have been a frequent ‘visitor’ to Ntege’s office until Lt Col Edith Nakalema with the help of the Police, arrested him, despite Ntege lying that he was not in her office.

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Muwanga Ronald is editor in chief of the UGANDANZ news website. He was formerly editorial director of UGANDANZ.COM, overseeing the publication’s digital operations. Before joining UGANDANZ in December 2018, Ronald was managing editor of NILE HOST In 2014, he was a finalist for the UJA Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the women's emancipation. Under his leadership NILE HOST won Media Industry Newsletter's Best of the Web award in 2018. A graduate of Makerere University, Ronald speaks Luganda and French and lives in Kampala with his wife and two children.