KAMPALA: The days of Canon Benson Turamye as the Executive Director of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) are numbered, after the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Betti Kamya closing in on him.
Kamya is investigating Turamye and other PPDA officials over allegations that they might have had a hand in a controversial procurement contract in which officials at the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) purchased prepaid water meters worth Shs17Bn.
Although Turamye and his staff were aware that the actions of NWSC were illegal and that the procurement contract had no legal basis to support, they turned a blind eye and allowed NWSC to proceed with the contract, something that has since prompted the IGG to smell a rat, hence the investigation.
However, we have learnt from credible sources that Turamye has since embarked on a mission to frustrate and undermine Kamya’s investigation and is frantically doing everything possible to save his neck, including lobbying powerful people in the country to come to his rescue but in vain.
The latest power broker that abandoned Turamye in his quagmire is the Minister for Security Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi, despite the fact that they both hail from Rukungiri District.
Credible sources reveal that this week Turamye held a private meeting with the Minister at a hotel in Kololo, with intent to interest in his troubles such that he can find a way of helping out.
Sources privy to the matter reveal however that the Minister told Turamye point blank that he has no reason to worry about anything if he is indeed clean, noting that the matter is too sensitive for him to intervene, since the IGG is already involved.
On realizing that even the man he had anticipated to be his Last Resort could not help him, our sources reveal that Turamye left the meeting a very crestfallen man, looking every inch perplexed about what to do next.
It should be noted that Turamye is said to be one of the few loyal cadres who campaigned heavily for Muhwezi to contest for the Rujumbura Member of Parliament seat in the January 2020 elections, and reportedly bankrolled the campaigns, but was so disappointed this week when the Minister told him to carry his own cross.
But Muhwezi’s rejection of Turamye’s pleas to rescue him from the corruption scandal come shortly after the PPDA Board of Directors led by the Chairman Julius K. Ishungisa also decided to distance themselves from the scandal.
According to our insiders at the PPDA, Turamye had sought the intervention of the Board in the matter in a bid to use its powers to curtail the IGG from proceeding with the investigation.
But the Board also reportedly disappointed Turamye but making it known to them that there is no way they can block an investigation by the IGG and that if anything, he should pave way for the same if the PPDA is to retain its clean image as transparent institution that plays a ‘Watch-dog’ role over other government agencies and ministries in a bid to check the rampant corruption in the country.
Worse still however is that after his attempts to derail or frustrate the investigation proving to be fruitless, sources reveal that he has since resorted to using security operatives to intimate journalists and Whistleblowers who compiled a report they submitted to the IGG’s office, on which Kamya is basing to conduct the investigation.
The operatives are threatening to make the journalists and whistleblowers disappear, get arrested and detained in safe houses or a total shut down of their websites and blogs if they do not back off the matter.