City tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia is among the ten witnesses lined up to pin Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa. Kutesa is accused together with former Works minister Eng. John Nasasira (currently General duties in Prime Minister’s office) and State Minister for Finance Mwesigwa Rukutana (Currently Gender) of abuse office and causing financial loss stemming from the 2007 CHOGM preparations.
“My Lord, we only received witness statements to this case yesterday. We therefore seek an adjournment to study the testimonies and be able to adequately defend the accused,” Kutesa’s lawyer Oscar Kamobona told the Anti-corruption court yesterday. Principal State Attorney Sydney Asubo from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) informed court that they have lined up ten witnesses among who is former Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Julius Onen and Sudhir the proprietor of Common Wealth Resort Munyonyo on whose construction government allegedly lost the money under the ministers’ directives.
Justice Paul Mugamba of the Anti-Corruption court adjourned the case to October 4, 2012 for parties to agree on list of documents and the assessors. The three are said to have caused government over Shs14bn loss when they decided in a cabinet subcommittee meeting that government would foot the construction of the Marina, Driveways and parking at commonwealth resort and by the time President Yoweri Museveni directed that money used in the construction be turned into shares, the ministers had already committed government to foot the bill of the construction.
It is said that when Museveni’s directive was communicated to Sudhir and his company lawyer, they insisted that government was already bound under Article 4 of the MoU drafted by the ministers to meet the costs of the MoU to meet the construction. It is said that the Solicitor General relied on the preamble to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) explaining the joint venture (between government and Sudhir) drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare for the MoU that was signed between government and Sudhir on March 13, 2006. The construction of driveways and parking was first valued at Shs8.3bn but was later varied to Shs8.88bn.