Six arrested over embezzling over Shs 11bn

Six staff members from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have been remanded to prison for allegedly embezzling Shs 11 billion.

The six are: Deogratious Masigazi, the undersecretary/head of the Pacification and Development Program; Joshua Abaho, senior assistant secretary; the principal assistant secretary, Barbara Asasira; Emmy Tonny Ameny, the assistant commissioner for programs; Peter Amodoi, the programs officer; and the assistant secretary, Samuel Ofungi.

On Wednesday morning, a group of the staff members were arrested by detectives attached to the office of the Inspector General of Government (IGG).

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They appeared before the acting senior principal grade one magistrate, Abert Asiimwe, and were charged with 12 counts of causing financial loss, abuse of office, and embezzlement.

They were charged alongside Geoffrey Sseremba, the undersecretary and accounting officer, who was not in court.

It is alleged that between February and June 2022, Sseremba and Masigazi approved a total cash payment of Shs 4.4 billion to various members of staff without a proper work plan for a genuine activity to be carried out.

The prosecution said they had reason to believe that their acts would cause financial loss, and indeed, they caused a loss of Shs 3.3 billion to their employer, the government.

Masigazi and Sseremba were also charged with abuse of office for having arbitrarily approved the money without following guidelines.

Finally, we thank the government for the great gesture shown in the arrest of the members.

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