The interim head of Uganda's anti-corruption agency says his organization has begun a criminal investigation into allegations of graft reportedly implicating several Cabinet ministers including Vice President Gilbert Bukenya.
Raphael Baku said his organization will have to determine whether they criminally flouted Uganda’s procurement laws.
“There have been problems about the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting here in Uganda. There have been allegations that there were a lot of corruptions in the process of organizing the meeting. The auditor general made an auditing report which came with the findings that there were some procurement irregularities committed,” he said.
“The Parliamentary Accounts Committee [PAC] confirmed that there was some mismanagement and violations of procurement violations. So, we are now handling those two reports to ascertain whether the breaching of the procurement laws and the mismanagement, which were pointed out, amounts to criminal acts.”
Several Ugandan groups accused the officials of President Yoweri Museveni’s government of misappropriating funds earmarked for organizing the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in the capital, Kampala.
In a recent investigation, Uganda’s parliament accused Vice President Bukenya and several Cabinet ministers of gross fiscal mismanagement amounting to 500 billion shillings ($227 million).
Baku said the criminal investigations have no political undertones.
“Our government now as the inspectorate of government, which is the Anti-Corruption Authority of Uganda, is to look at the accusations against the leaders to determine whether those accusations amount to criminal acts. And, if they do, then we will institute criminal prosecution against those who are found to be culpable,” Baku said.
Local media reported that the graft accusations are causing a rift within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. It suggests that, while some support the accused officials, others are demanding they resign to clear their names before being reinstated as government officials.