BUNYANGABU, Uganda: Following the Presidential appeal for private support in the fight against Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic which hit the country over a month ago, members of the public, companies, cultural institutions, NGOs, several private practitioners and politicians among others, positively responded and have so far collected over Shs5bn in materials and cash.
While the Presidential initiative has enlisted quite a huge response on the one hand, there has also been cases of people as well as companies who have taken the president for a ride in pursuit of public attention as well as political capital.
A case in point is a beer making company which contributed bags of posho to the National Covid-19 Task Force that turned out later to be unfit for human consumption. The country’s Covid-19 Task Force had actually gone ahead and dished out the posho to the residents of Kinawattaka LC 1 Kireka in Wakiso district when it was discovered later that what the beer company had presented to be good food was not even fit to be served to pigs.
Before the country can get over the awful scam above, this investigative website is now bringing you news of a Cabinet Minister who donated a ramshackle car to one of the country’s District Covid-19 Task Force. The rather brazen Minister presented the car to be brand new for which he received ovation from the District Task Force which comprises of people whom the Minister represents in Parliament.
The Cabinet Minister was responding to his boss, President Yoweri Museveni’s petition to well-to-do people to contribute brand new cars to the National Task Force on Covid-19 that would later form a fleet of vehicles for the Ministry of Health. Museveni made the appeal on April 4th. The Head of State insisted that then that he would not accept second cars.
The Minister on the spot is Adolf Mwesigye. He is the Minister of Defence. Mwesigye was at one time Uganda’s Attorney General, in that way making him one of the most senior advocates in Uganda. He is also an ‘Honorable’ Member of the august house representing Bunyangabu to which he donated a run-down car.
Apart from being a ramshackle, the car is not owned by Mwesigye. It belongs to a private person known as Ahiya Kabururu of Fort Portal. It is a Toyota Corolla make 2001 of chassis 9957. It is not the brand new Toyota Corona which Mwesigye mispresented to be while he was delivering the same to the RDC of Bunyabugabu, Jane Asiimwe Muhindo on April 17th this year. The car purportedly donated by Mwesigye bears registration number UAB 228L.
Delivered by Mwesigye’s Personal Assistant one Ronald Mutegeki, the kiwani car was draped in the NRM yellow colors for obvious reasons, of course. It bore the photo of Mwesigye with the inescapable inscriptions of the Minister donating it in his capacity as the MP of Bunyangabu to the district Covid-19 Task Force.
As it now turns the car which was purportedly donated by the good minister is not only old but it does not even belong to him. It would therefore appear that the minister or his handlers simply talked to the owner of the car, the man from Fort Portal, and convinced him to surrender it to him before they substituted the number plates of the car as well as painted it in yellow colors and delivering it to the unsuspecting members of the Bunyangabu Covid-19 Task Force.
The minister was betrayed by his own leaked conversation between him and his PA Ronald. In the clip, it is revealed that the owner borrowed them the car because he was stuck with it since private cars were prohibited by the lockdown. By letting out the car, the owner automatically attracted a sticker permitting him to move around.
But suspicion is also rife that members of the Bunyangabu Task Force knew that the vehicle which Mwesigye donated was old and also not owned by him, but were party to the fraud in order to present the minister as a man of big heart desiring of being reelected to the parliament come 2021.
- Stanley Ndawula is a two and a half decades’ seasoned investigative journalist with a knack for serious crimes investigations and reporting. He’s the Founding Editorial Director and CEO at The Investigator Publications (U) Limited
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