Two businessmen charged over theft of fuel worth Shs 32bn from Total

Two businessmen have been charged for alleged theft of fuel worth more than Shs 32 billion from fuel giant, Total Uganda Limited.

Deogratius Twagirayezu and Joseph Bbuye were on Thursday arraigned before the Anti-Corruption court chief magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ochaya who charged them with two counts of theft and conspiracy to defraud.

According to prosecution, between September 1st 2017 and September 30th 2018 at Total Uganda head office on 8th Street Industrial Area in Kampala, the suspects stole petrol, diesel and lubricants worth Shs 32.2 billion.

It is also alleged that Bbuye and Twagirayezu conspired with eight others who included five Total Uganda officials to commit the offences.

The other officials who were charged earlier include Moses Sebalu the senior accountant with Total Uganda, Belinda Nakasi the taxation accountant, Priscilla Nansikombi a cashier, Lillian Mboizi Ssanyu former senior treasury manager, Ritah Daphine Mbabazi the procurement officer.

The others include other businessmen or dealers with Total Uganda including, Hemal Kotecha, Innocent Tugume and Evelyn Kaggwa. Prosecution notes that the money was stolen when the officials of Total Uganda connived and posted fictitious payment entries onto the computer system of Total Uganda Limited to portray that Shs 32.2 billion had been paid by the businessmen into the company’s bank account whereas not.

Bbuye and Twagirayezu denied the charges against them and asked to be released on bail arguing that the charges against them are bailable since their co-accused are also out on bail. They presented three sureties each who included their fellow businessmen and friends.

The state attorney Jackie Kyasimire didn’t object to their bail application save for asking for the contacts of the sureties whom they had presented for easier purposes of tracing in case they abscond from the trial.

Lamunu asked the accused to deposit with the court Shs 20 million cash, certificate of a land title and their passport. She asked their sureties to execute a non-cash bond of Shs 800 million.

On June 8 2020, a warrant officer II, Gordon Kababure was arraigned before the General Court Martial and charged with theft of Shs 2.3 billion from Total Uganda. Kababure had reportedly forged 13 fuel cards and pretended that the money was for routine fuel for the Land Forces of UPDF which was not the case. The case returns to court on December 9, 2020, for mention.


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