IT WASN’T HER: PM RUGUNDA DEFENDS FIRST LADY JANET MUSEVENI OVER OPM RELIEF FOOD SCANDAL
By Mulengera Reporter
Premier Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has dismissed as “malicious fabrications” claims that him, President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Kataaha Museveni influenced the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to offer the tender for supplying relief food to the vulnerable poor to Aponye Uganda Limited.
On Thursday, Lt Col Edith Nakalema’s State House Anti-Corruption Unit arrested OPM Permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu, Commissioner in charge of Disaster Preparedness and Management Martin Owor, Accounting officer Joel Wanjala, and Assistant Commissioner in charge of procurement Fred Lutimba for reportedly inflating prices of maize flour and beans.
It has also emerged that a weekend meeting chaired by Rugunda himself had resolved that the four top officials be investigated for possible prosecution. (See: INSIDE THE RUGUNDA SUNDAY MEETING THAT SEALED FATE FOR TROUBLED OPM BOSSES).
But some Ugandans have been linking Ms Museveni and her husband to Aponye Uganda Limited, owned by tycoon and ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) mobilise Apollo Nyegamahe. The Kabale NRM leader is so close to the First Family that President Museveni personally attended Nyegamahe’s daughter Annet’s giveaway in Muhanga, Kabale Municipality, in 2016, and gave the bride 10 cows.
It was such closeness that critics were basing on to suggest that Museveni and his wife could have ‘used’ Rugunda to help Aponye win the juicy Shs52bn deal. In fact, these critics have been claiming that Ms Museveni directly called Rugunda and commanded him to offer Aponye the food supply tender. But the Prime Minister denied being ordered by the Musevenis to push Aponye’s bid through.
“My attention has been drawn to a malicious fabrication making rounds on various social media platforms linking me, the First Lady and the President to the procurement issues of beans and [maize flour] meant for people most affected by the lockdown measures,” wrote Rugunda. “Neither the First Lady or the President contacted me about Aponye or any other company to supply [maize flour] and beans. I dismiss these fabrications.”
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