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Three Ugandan officials jailed for paying pensions to ghosts

BBC African News
The three convicts, Jimmy Lwamafa,Kiwanuka Kunsa & Christopher Obey
The three convicts, Jimmy Lwamafa,Kiwanuka Kunsa & Christopher Obey

Three Ugandan public service ministry officials were sentenced on Friday to a total of 22 years in prison for stealing public funds through the payment of pensions to thousands of “ghosts”.

According to the BBC, the amount stolen by the three officials is more than US$25 million (23 million euros).

The three imprisoned Ugandan public service officials are Jimmy Lwamafa, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Services, Kiwanuka Kunsa, former Head of the Research and Development Department, and Christopher Obey, former Chief Accountant of the Ministry of Public Services.

Messrs. Lwamafa, Kunsa and Obey were sentenced to 10, 7 and 5 years in jail, respectively.

“The Anti-Corruption Court found the three former officials guilty of causing financial loss, abuse of office, neglect of duty, embezzlement and connivance to defraud the Ugandan Government,” AFP quotes the spokesman for the Ugandan Judiciary, Solomon Muyita, as saying.

Mr. Muyita also said the three senior officials enriched themselves by paying pensions to pensioners whose identities were forged from scratch for their benefit.

They counterfeited 2,652 identities, the Ugandan Judiciary Representative added.

The three men are among a group of eight accused persons who are alleged to have diverted more than $50 million in public money since 2015.

The convicted men can appeal their convictions. The other five defendants are expected to appear in court soon, according to court prosecutors.



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