Ex- Minister Mbayo risks arrest over embezzlement, abuse of office

Few weeks ago, Milly Babirye Babalanda, the new Minister for presidency,suspended the UPPC staff on similar allegations and ordered a probe into the matter.

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Esther Mbulakubuza Mbayo, the ex Minister for presidency could soon be under rock and key over embezzlement, abuse of office, and causing financial loss to Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation.

This is after it has emerged that the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) earlier this month issued summons to her over the same.

In a September 13 letter, Ms Mbayo through the office of the speaker of the Parliament of Uganda,was ordered to appear at CID headquarters Kibuli on September 15, 2021, before acting Commissioner of Police Economic Crime and Financial intelligence for a statement in respect of the said investigation.

“The directorate of criminal investigations is investigating allegations of abuse of office, embezzlement and causing financial loss of Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation where you were a supervisor of the said corporation from 2019 to 2021,” wrote Mr Julius Twinomujuni, acting on behalf of the director of CID.

Former Minister for presidency Esther Mbayo is under probe over abuse of office | COURTESY PHOTO.

Few weeks ago, Milly Babirye Babalanda, the new Minister for presidency,suspended the UPPC staff on similar allegations and ordered a probe into the matter.

Among those suspended were UPPC Managing Director Dr Tom Wasswa, and the board of the organization.

“Using my powers as Line Minister under Sec.6 of the UPPC Act, yesterday I temporarily suspended the M.D and Board of UPPC. The action is intended to pave way for investigations into allegations of corruption and forgery. All other staff is urged to continue working normally,” Babalanda tweeted on August, 18.

The minister also halted any further transactions at the entity especially those related to procurement projects. She noted that unless in a case where she has authorized, nothing should effected.

No sooner had the suspension been announced than the minister appointed Mr James Tweheyo as the Acting Managing Director.

Also, as a way to enforce the minister’s directive, detectives at CID intercepted and recovered shs600 million allegedly from a government office destined to be paid to a senior officer at the Electoral Commission.

The money was part of the shs 3 billion that the suspects including UPPC’s Managing Director, Prof. Waswa Tomas Davis are alleged to have looted from the corporation.

Mbayo was until June, the Minister for Presidency and therefore directly in charge of the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation which was under her ministry.

According to investigators, as the supervisor of the UPPC, she ought to have detected and prevented the alleged embezzlement of funds.

It’s however not yet clear whether or not Ms Mbayo indeed honored the summon and appeared before the CID on the 15th of September.

While on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, the former Minister asked the Speaker to reign on the security agencies who arrest members of the house in a degrading manner.

If she has yet to honor the summon, it’s likely that as it has done before to other legislators, the police could arrest her instead.

KAMPALA BUSINESS RADIO