January 31, 2013

Pension Scam Suspects Granted Bail

Permanent Secretary in the Public Service Ministry Jimmy Lwamafa is among those accused of mismanagement
Permanent Secretary in the Public Service Ministry Jimmy Lwamafa is among those accused of mismanagement

The Anti-Corruption Court on Thursday afternoon released the eight Public Service officials accused of mismanagement of the pension fund each on a 50 million cash bail.

The public service officials who are accused of causing government a financial loss of over Shs165 billion in connection to creation of 2,605 ghost pensioners and their eventual payment were on Tuesday charged and remanded to Luzira prison.

Sarah Langa, the grade one magistrate of the anti corruption granted the suspects a cash bond of 50 million shillings each.

While granting the suspects bail, the magistrate concurred with the submissions of the prosecution to impose the staggering cash bail, citing the colossal sums of public funds involved in the matter. The court also ordered each of the nine suspects to deposit their passports with court. Each of their 31 sureties executed a non cash bond of Shs 20 billion.

They  include;  Jimmy Lwamafa (60) Permanent Secretary, Public Service; Mr Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa (55), Director Research and Development, Public Service; Mr Christopher Obey Ahimbisibwe (44), Principal accountant, Public Service; Mr David Oloka Japians, ( 59) senior accounts assistant , public service.

Others are, ,Mr Stephen Lwanga (47) Accounts Assistant, Public Service; Mr Peter Ssajjabi (50), Secretary East African Community Beneficiaries Association; Mr Ishaka Setongo (40), Assistant Manager Operations, Cairo International Bank and Ms Rahman Nakigozi Mugeere (39) Compliance Officer, Cairo International Bank.

The eight officials face corruption charges ranging from causing financial loss, abuse of office, negligence of duty, embezzlement, and conspiracy to defraud.

Lwamafa and Obey are jointly charged with abuse of their authority and requisitioned for payments for 2605 false pension beneficiaries which caused government loss of sh165,243,746,671. They allegedly committed the offence over a period of three financial years from October 2009 to September 2012 in the first count of abuse of office.

Kunsa Kiwanuka faces charged of omitting to ensure that the performance plans systems and procedures were adhered to knowing well that that omission would cause the loss of the sh165.243bn.

Obey and Oloka are also accused of embezzling  sh173,993,660  (US$87,434) which they purported to pay nine Kenyan pensioners who were non-existent.

They will reappear in court on March 1st for mention of their case.

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