Police on Monday interrogated city businessman Karim Hirji over alleged “fake” workshops supposedly organised by the Ministry of Health and other government departments at his Kampala-based Imperial Royale Hotel.
Mr Hirji appeared at Jinja Road Police Station where he was quizzed by detectives from the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in Kireka for about an hour.
The police summoned Mr Hirji to help in the investigations in relation to causing financial loss and conspiracy to defraud the government in connection with the alleged November 9, 2011 ghost workshop in which the Ministry of Health spent Shs140 million.
However, officers privy to the investigations indicated that Mr Hirji asked for some time to allow him get information about the alleged workshop which the detectives accepted. Police officials yesterday declined to comment about the interrogation. This is the second time Mr Hirji is being questioned over ghost workshops.
On February 20, detectives interrogated Mr Hirji over a ‘ghost’ workshop allegedly organized by the Ministry of works where the payment deposited by the treasury was later withdrawn by individuals.
The investigations into the alleged ghost workshop that cost government more than Shs76 million arose from details presented to police by a whistleblower.
Officials from the Ministry of Works are alleged to have budgeted for a half day conference at Imperial Royale Hotel and asked for Shs76 million. However, accounting the documents indicates that the ministry organised a two-day residential workshop to sensitise transport stakeholders at the hotel between January 8 and 9 this year.
Police since questioned a number of staff from the hotel including the financial controller, accountant and the marketing executive, who recorded statements explaining whether the Works ministry organised a workshop at the hotel between January 8 and 9, 2013.
The three named hotel employees and seven ministry officials facing allegations of fraudulently taking Shs76 million have since been released on police bond.