Works minister finally honors police summons

Minister Eng Abraham Byandala
Minister Eng Abraham Byandala

Works and transport Minister Abraham Byandala, finally recorded a statement with detectives over the botched Kyetume-Katosi road project at Katwe Police Station yesterday.

This was confirmed by police spokesman Mr. Fred Enanga who said the minister appeared at the station at 2:00pm.

Mr.Byandala was expected at the Special Investigations Division headquarters at 10:00am but detectives chose to record his statement secretly after he complained to the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda that he was being witch hunted by his colleagues in cabinet.

Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Director, Grace Akullo, had issued fresh summons against Mr.Byandala requiring him to go the SID yesterday after he failed to honor the first summons.

Earlier, police had threatened to arrest Byandala if he again didn’t appear before them.

Last week, Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda reportedly met Akullo and three senior ministers to chat a way forward on how Byandala and other members of Parliament should be handled in the investigations.

Rugunda later denied preventing investigations against Byandala saying he needed to see fairness.

The need to interrogate Mr Byandala arose from a directive from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after the Katosi files were submitted to his office.

Mr Byandala is said to have written to Uganda National Roads Authority officials directing them to procure Eutaw Construction Company for the project. It was later discovered Eutaw was non existent and government had lost billions of shillings in the deal.

Government is said to have lost more than Shs24.7 billion which was advanced to Eutaw Construction Company for the construction of Katosi road.

Last year, the UNRA board suspended four top officials over the controversy surrounding the same road tendering scandal. Among the suspended officials included the acting UNRA executive director, Mr Ssebugga Kimeze, director of finance, Mr Joe Semugoomu, director of planning, Mr David Luyimbazi, and legal counsel Marvin Baryaruha, until investigations into the award of the tender are concluded.