Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do I claim part of victory on arrest of Jamwa?

Yes I called for his arerest, investigation and resignation at the start of Temangalo saga. He was named and shamed as one of the corrupt Ugandans. Now he seems to have felt that it is safer out and he was arrested as per the following article extracted from Monitor; I contributed and I would have wished to claim victory had it not been for the time.... rather late!


By Rodney Muhumuza & Alfred Wandera (email the author)

Posted Wednesday, June 23 2010 at 00:00

Kampala


David Chandi Jamwa, the former National Social Security Fund managing director, was yesterday sent to Luzira Prison, ending a dramatic day that saw him arrested at Malaba border post, paraded before a parliamentary committee, and produced in court to face criminal charges.

Attempting to cross into Kenya before dawn, ostensibly to attend a burial in Kisumu, Mr Jamwa had been arrested by police officers who recognised him and suspected he was trying to flee the country.

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How it was done
The officers contacted the authorities in Kampala for confirmation that Mr Jamwa was not permitted to leave Uganda, then arrested him and drove him back to Kampala to face charges stemming from his time as head of NSSF. “We told the officers [in Malaba] that we needed him,” said Moses Sakira, the deputy director of the Criminal Investigations Directorate.

In the Anti-Corruption Court, Mr Jamwa pleaded not guilty to one count of abuse of office and one of causing financial loss to the NSSF, before being remanded to Luzira Prison until tomorrow, when his bail application would be considered. His incarceration added fresh scandal to the taint already suffered by Mr Jamwa, 39, who got the NSSF job on the strength of his financial aptitude but left with his reputation in tatters.

Mr Jamwa’s management plan appeared to energise the NSSF for a while, raising optimism at an organisation consistently plagued by corrupt management, until it was revealed in 2008 that he had entered a possibly shady transaction with a minister who wanted to sell his land to the NSSF.

The land deal that produced the Temangalo scandal, in which Security Minister Amama Mbabazi was accused of peddling influence to sell his land to the NSSF, spawned the chain of events that eventually cost Mr Jamwa his job and put him on the police’s radar screen.

Mr Joseph Mwesige, the officer in charge of Malaba police, said security and immigration officers had been alerted to the possibility of Mr Jamwa’s escape. He was travelling by private means and was accompanied by at least four people when he was arrested, Mr Mwesige told Daily Monitor.

The arresting officers immediately recognised him, but their suspicion had been heightened because he was travelling so early, at 3 am. “If the police are investigating a case, then there is some awareness [among officers] that he could be wanted,” Mr Sakira said. While the Temangalo scandal is what brought Mr Jamwa public infamy, the immediate charges that he faced were far from Temangalo.

The Inspectorate of Government had been investigating some of Mr Jamwa’s transactions on behalf of the NSSF. Some evidence of alleged impropriety was found, and a charge sheet was made ready by June 8. It remains unclear why the police did not act until the suspect gave them an opportunity.

According to the charge sheet, Mr Jamwa is accused of causing the NSSF to lose at least Shs2.7 billion when, between September 2007 and November 2007, he sold government bonds held by the NSSF to Crane Financial Services “at prices below” their value. “That is probably why he was trying to leave the country,” Mr Raphael Baku, the acting ombudsman, said yesterday.

It was not possible to reach Mr Jamwa for a comment. But the allegation that he was trying to flee was tied to the argument that he made the aborted trip to Kenya just a day after Mr Baku told Daily Monitor that his office was “considering some action” against Mr Jamwa and the man who was his deputy at the NSSF, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera. Mr Baku’s remarks came as Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises started investigating alleged financial misconduct during Mr Jamwa’s tenure at the NSSF.


Selective prosecution?
He was expected to appear before the committee at some point. When he was arrested yesterday, the authorities drove him straight to the committee, which was in session.

Dressed causally—his black T-shirt had the face of a man who resembled Arnold Schwarzenegger— and carrying two small bags, Mr Jamwa was sweating when he was let in; he was offered bottled water. He was later transferred to another room where he had a closed session with committee chairman, Aswa MP Reagan Okumu.

It remains to be seen if Mr Jamwa’s arrest will spur fresh interest into affairs at the NSSF, where new management is in place, but where the ghosts of past scandals have not been exorcised. In the case of the Temangalo scandal, for example, a committee of Parliament named suspects in its report but no one was prosecuted.

Mr Jasper Tumuhimbise, an anti-corruption activist, said Mr Jamwa’s arrest needed to be put in its meagre context. “The ideal is to handle every case as it is presented instead of being selective,” Mr Tumuhimbise said. “Beyond Jamwa as a person, if they are able to pull out others (for prosecution), then we shall know that things are happening. The message that we are fighting corruption is still not strong.”


Additional reporting by Augustine Emojong, Richard Wanambwa and Sheila Naturinda.

1 comment:

tumwijuke said...

Victory?

Methinks it's a little to early to tell. But hope springs eternal ...