MPs Task City Lawyer Ssemwogerere to Present Passport

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In short
In his June 2015 report, the Auditor General, John Muwanga noted that whereas UNRA signed the Mukono-Katosi Road contract with Eutaw Construction Company Incorporation on November 15th 2013, Ssemwogerere was hired to carry out due diligence on July 2014.

 The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE has tasked city lawyer Karoli Ssemwogerere to present his passport to facilitate the ongoing investigations into the Mukono-Katosi road fraud. Ssemwogerere was contracted by Uganda National Roads Authority to carry out due diligence on Eutaw Construction Company Incorporation.
 
 
In his June 2015 report, the Auditor General, John Muwanga noted that whereas UNRA signed the Mukono-Katosi Road contract with Eutaw Construction Company Incorporation on November 15th 2013, Ssemwogerere was hired to carry out due diligence on July 2014.
 
 
He said the decision to hire Ssemwogerere contravened PPDA laws that require due diligence to be undertaken before the contract is signed. Muwanga also noted that by the time of compiling the audit report, Ssemwogerere was yet to hand over his report to the Authority, adding that there was no evidence showing that the lawyer indeed travelled to USA.
 
 
"I explained to Management (UNRA) that facilitating a person who is not a staff of UNRA is not only irregular but raises suspicion and could lead to financial loss," reads part of the report.
 
 
Evidence before the Committee shows, that Ssemwogerere received USD 22,000 for his contract.  He received an additional USD 6000 to cater for his air ticket and another USD 4000 for his in land travel.
 
As a result, the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises chaired by Abdu Katuntu, the Bugweri County MP, summoned Ssemwogerere on Tuesday to appear with his passport and travel parcel as evidence pertaining his travel to USA to conduct the due diligence on Eutaw.
 

 
This afternoon, Ssemwogerere appeared before the committee insisting that he conducted the due diligence on Eutaw. The committee members tasked him to produce his passport to prove his travel to the USA in vain.
 
He explained that he had scanned the relevant passport pages and submitted them for verification. However, the MPs rejected the photocopies, insisting that he produces his passport.

"We don't want to get into this sort of thing. There should be no drama about it. I don't want photocopies," said the Committee chairperson Abdu Katuntu. As a result, Anita Among, the Committee Vice Chairperson asked CIID officers at parliament to escort Ssemwogerere to his home to pick up the passport.
 
The MPs also demanded that the city lawyer avails a report detailing his finding on Eutaw.  Police immediately escorted Ssemwogerere out of the parliamentary building. He returned later, only to find the committee had closed the day's business. Katuntu said they will interface with Ssemwogerere on Thursday.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.