Police quiz UBC bosses over Shs3.6b Fifa World Cup deal


KAMPALA. The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) has commenced investigations into alleged corruption in connection to a Shs3.6 billion sponsorship deal between national broadcaster UBC and Airtel to air the 2014 football World Cup finals.
Mr Walter Osinde, the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) Internal Auditor, and Mr Angello Nkeza, former acting UBC managing director, are expected to appear at the CID headquarters at Kibuli in Kampala on Tuesday.

Also expected on Wednesday are former UBC managing director Paul Kihika, UBC marketing manager Vincent Lupiiya, and former UBC former finance manager Patrick Kateba.
The detectives had earlier this week quizzed and released on police bond Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime, a former UBC sales executive, former UBC freelancer Cleophus Kizza, and Mr Edison Asiimwe, a former UBC worker.

The eight are being interrogated over alleged embezzlement, abuse of office, false accounting, causing financial loss and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Mr Vincent Ssekate, the CID spokesperson, confirmed the summons and investigations of the UBC officials and former managing directors.
“The documents so far in police possession show that there was embezzlement of funds meant for broadcast of Fifa World Cup matches on UBC. Detectives have already delivered summons to the officers, who were in charge to give their side of the story. We expect them to appear at CID headquarters next week without fail,” Mr Ssekate said on Friday.

But Mr Winston Agaba, the UBC managing director, said on Friday he was not aware of the summons to his workers.
Mr Nkeza also said he had not received any summons from the police.
It is alleged that in 2014, telecom company Airtel signed a deal with UBC to sponsor the relaying of the Fifa World Cup matches in Brazil and the funds were to be paid in instalments.
According to CID documents, Mr Tumusiime is said to have secured the deal with Airtel and thereafter sought a 10 per cent commission from UBC, which was allegedly sanctioned by Mr Kihika, the then UBC managing director.

But it is alleged that when Airtel paid the first instalment of Shs360m to UBC, Mr Tumusiime is said to have written to UBC seeking a cut of 18 per cent of the Shs360m, and was it given to him.
It is said that another Shs50m from the same sponsorship deal was electronically transferred to the bank account of Mr Kizza, who was a freelancer, under unclear circumstances.
The detectives have since interviewed Mr Kizza on how and why he received the payments without his contribution in securing the deal. His response couldn’t be revealed for fear of jeopardising the investigations.

In August 2014, before Airtel could pay the second instalment, Mr Kihika left UBC and was replaced by Mr Nkeza, who was the head of UBC engineering department.
When Airtel paid the second instalment of Shs350m, Mr Tumusiime reportedly again wrote, demanding a commission of another 10 per cent, but Mr Nkeza is said to have declined to honour the request.
Mr Tumusiime was later transferred to a UBC branch in Nakasongola District, but he rejected the transfer.
A Shs50m cheque from the second instalment was reportedly written and the money sent to Mr Asiimwe’s account in UBA Bank.
Last week, Mr Asiimwe also recorded a statement with the detectives, but Mr Ssekate declined to divulge what he told them.
It is claimed when Airtel paid a third instalment of Shs116m to UBC, the national broadcaster’s managers were already embroiled in a fight over the funds. Mr Tumusiime is said to have contacted Airtel over the misunderstanding.
To save the deal, it was alleged Mr Tumusiime was paid 10 per cent of the third instalment sum, but Airtel was dissatisfied with the management of the sponsorship deal and terminated the contract.
Subsequently, UBC management reportedly sacked Mr Tumusiime, but on grounds of rejecting a transfer.
The detectives are now investigating why Mr Tumusiime, a permanent employee, was given a commission yet he was doing his job.
The detectives also want to know from Mr Kihika why he approved the payment of the commission without the consent of the UBC board.

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