DPP drops charges against OPM officials involved in Covid-19 food scandal

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DPP drops charges against OPM officials involved in Covid-19 food scandal
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The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has discontinued charges against four officials from the Office of the Prime Minister who were accused of inflating prices of food meant for the vulnerable poor under the Covid-19 food relief programme.

The freed officials are; former permanent secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu, Head of procurement Fred Lutimba Kyeyune, Under Secretary Joel Wanjala, and the Commissioner for Relief Disaster and Preparedness who was also the Head of the Covid-19 Relief Management, Martin Owner.

Jane Frances Abodo in August 2020 ordered for the trial of the accused persons to start before the Anti-corruption division of the High Court.

However, in a letter dated August 19, 2021, she directed that the charges of abuse of office, fraudulent false accounting, and corruption have been dropped.

No reason has been stated by justice Abodo to withdraw the 24 counts against the officials.

Statement from the office of DPP

The DPP had alleged that in abuse of the authority of their respective offices; Guwatudde and Kyeyune prepared and issued an award letter to various companies to supply maize, beans, milk, and sugar amounting to Shs32.3 billion in total disregard of the procurement procedures.

The four had again jointly been charged with Martin Owor for colluding to commit a fraudulent practice between March and April 2020.

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