Fraud Charges Against Ministry of Energy’s Head of Petroleum

Fraud Charges Against Ministry of Energy's Head of Petroleum
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The head of Petroleum in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Spero Byokunda, has been summoned to appear in the City Hall Magistrates Court to respond to charges related to defrauding a Serbian investor. This summons also includes businessman Emmanuel Byamukama and is scheduled for the 10th of November. The charges against them pertain to forgery and conspiracy to defraud the investor.

Accused alongside Byokunda and Byamukama are five other individuals, namely George Byomugabe, who is a legal officer associated with Max in Namwezi Village Goma division within Mukono Municipality, John Bosco Mugisha, a teacher, and Doreen Mugisha and Barbara Kyobutungi, who work as office attendants at the Ministry of Energy. Additionally, Frank Kiggundu, a businessman, has already appeared in court and denied the charges.

The group collectively faces allegations of forgery and conspiracy in relation to a meeting with a Serbian investor, LJuba Samardzic, who had expressed interest in pursuing an energy-related project. The prosecution asserts that in August 2023, Kyomugabe, with the intent to defraud, forged a confirmation document for the supply of LED-based solar streetlights from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. He purported himself to be the Chairperson of the Special Contracts Committee within the Ministry, a position he did not hold.

Furthermore, Byomugabe allegedly claimed to be an employee in public service as the Chairman of the Special Contracts Committee and presented a forged document to the investor, falsely confirming the supply of LED-based solar streetlights.

On Tuesday, Byomugabe and his co-accused individuals appeared before Grade One Magistrate Edgar Karakire, where they denied the charges. However, they were remanded until the 10th of November, 2023, due to their failure to provide substantial sureties on their behalf.

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These summons were issued in response to a request by State Attorney Mercy Khaidarah Yamangusho, who noted that Byokunda and Byamukama are still at large. This case sheds light on allegations of fraudulent activities within the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, with legal proceedings set to determine the veracity of these claims.

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