The Anti-corruption Court in Kampala has acquitted former Works Minister, Eng Abraham Byandala and six other accused persons, of abuse of office that led to financial loss to government in the Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi road scam.
Justice Lawrence Gidudu said there was no evidence to show that Byandala did anything out of the law by writing a letter ordering for signing of the Shs 24.7bn contract between UNRA and Eutaw, the contractor.
“Byandala as the line Minister was directly charged with supervision of the body and there was nothing arbitrary in writing the letter that directed signing of the contract,” the judge ruled.
He said that because UNRA at that time had no Board of Directors, Byandala as the Works Minister was directly charged with supervising the body and this he did by writing the letter.
The judge also noted that there is no evidence to show that before writing the letter, Byandala had knowledge that the security bonds were fake.
Gidudu also ruled that there was no evidence of financial loss caused to government because no exact amount had been quoted as the loss caused to government.
“Loss should be quantified but not assumed or anticipated. There is no evidence show this,” Gidudu ruled.
The former Minister was accused together with six other people including Eng Berunado Ssebugga Kimeze (Acting UNRA boss then), businessman Apolo Senkeeto who was the country representative of Eutaw Construction Company, Joe Ssemugooma, the Director of Finance and Administration at UNRA then, Isaac Mugote, a former staffer at Housing Finance bank and Wilberforce Senjako, the former regional accountant for UNRA.
The State accused them of hurriedly contracting Eutaw without due diligence and subsequently causing financial loss to government.
Three people; Kimeze, Mugote and Marvin Baryaruha (former Legal Director at UNRA) who were accused were exonerated by court on Wednesday.