Meet Uganda’s Top Corrupt officials who have been indicted

A total of 82 government officials have been prosecuted in court and interdicted over the past 10 months, following investigations by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU).

The offences range from abuse of office, causing financial loss, conspiracy to defraud, corruption, diversion of public funds, embezzlement and impersonation.

In its accountability report for the past 10 months, presented yesterday at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, SHACU said 10 private individuals have also been charged with corruption-related offences.

SHACU listed the number of people who have been interdicted, warning that the accounting officers should ensure the interdicted officials do not access office until their cases are determined by the respective courts.

The officials are from Bank of Uganda, PostBank, Ministry of Lands, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Uganda Human Rights Commission, Equal Opportunities Commission and the National Gaming and Lotteries Board, among others.

In December last year, President Yoweri Museveni appointed Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema as head of SHACU. Speaking to journalists yesterday, the Uganda Media Centre’s executive director and Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, said the officials charged and interdicted were from Alebtong, Dokolo, Lira, Tororo, Mbarara, Arua, Bugembe, Wakiso, Amolatar, Kikuube and Kasangati. They were charged before the Anti- Corruption Court.

He said some of the interdicted people still parade before the media as if they were not interdicted, a move he said was “unfortunate”.

Opondo cited Edgar Agaba, who was interdicted on July 19, by finance minister Matia Kasaija. He said, last Sunday, Agaba addressed the media as the executive director of the gaming board.

Opondo warned him against what he described as “impersonation”. He also cited Felix Cuthbert Esoku, the interdicted Chief Administrative Officer of Mbarara district, as the other person who still holds out as though he has never been interdicted. “The accounting officers should show cause why the interdicted persons continue sitting in the office,” Opondo said.

We were not able to get a comment from Agaba and Esoku over the allegations. Since SHACU was inaugurated, it has received 58,415 complaints, out of which 8,022 have been concluded.

A total of 4,017 cases are currently under investigation, while 35,280 cases, which are non-corruption related, have been referred to ministries, departments and agencies for administrative management.

Opondo said the many complaints submitted showed there is a good public response. SHACU explained that it has received many complaints related to human trafficking, fleecing and extortion of Ugandans by labour-exporting companies.

Following the intervention of the SHACU, companies have so far refunded sh87m to individuals who paid with promises of getting jobs abroad.

SHACU added that its intervention in the National Gaming and Lotteries Board has led to the recovery of sh700m irregularly paid out to Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. 

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.