Report Pins Saleh, Nsibambi, Rukutana Over Coffee Cash

1508 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Now, COSASE is accusing Saleh of influence peddling and has asked parliament to take appropriate action against him.

General Salim Saleh, his wife Jovia Saleh, former Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi and the incoming Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa are under the spot for allegedly defrauding tax payer's money. 

The officials are implicated in a special audit report by the parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE into the joint venture between Uganda Coffee Development Authority-UCDA and Uganda Coffee House, APS, a Danish firm.
 
According to the report tabled before parliament by Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the COSASE committee chairperson, General Saleh introduced Uganda Coffee House to UCDA apparently to help market Ugandan coffee to Scandinavian countries. Uganda Coffee House is a subsidiary of House of Coffee Ltd, a consortium owned by several Ugandans with M/S Akiba, which is controlled by Salim Saleh and his wife with 70% shares.

 
The committee notes that, following Saleh's intervention, UCDA went ahead and signed a joint venture with Uganda Coffee House on 29th October 2003. According to the committee findings Salim Saleh endorsed the agreement on behalf of Uganda Coffee House as board chairperson together with UCDA Board Chairman Mugambwa Sempa and MD Henry Ngabirano.
 
However, in 2005 the joint venture collapsed yet government had injected 3.2billion Shillings the business. 2.5 billion shillings was injected in the venture in 2003 after Saleh forwarded a request for the money to Apollo Nsibambi, the then prime minister. However, M/S Akiba sent another request for US $ 15M about UGX 28.5 billion Shillings ($15m) to add value to Uganda Coffee and promotion in Denmark. 

Nsibambi forwarded the request to Mwesigwa Rukutana, the then state finance minister with instructions to follow up the matter. Now, COSASE is accusing Saleh of influence peddling and has asked parliament to take appropriate action against him. COSASE also accuses Rukutana for convening a meeting to discuss Saleh's request for the 28.5billion Shillings. 

However, the committee report does not indicate or not the money was released.
 
 //Cue in: "Committee recommendations…….             
Cue out…in the past"//  
 
After receiving the report, the Deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya deferred the matter for debate on Tuesday next week.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.