News and Views
Mukula Loses Shs6bn To Sudanese Conman
By Benon Tugumisirize:
With his experience in business where he is revered by most of his peers, this will totally come as a shock, perhaps even delight to his enemies. The business community is reeling in shock with news that Soroti Municipality MP Mike Mukula was diddled of over USD2.2m (Shs6bn) by a Sudanese conman.
According to our reliable sources, flamboyant Mukula, who doubles as the Eastern Region NRM Party Chairperson, lost the money after a south Sudan firm called M/S Nile Valley Construction Company, contracted him to supply maize to the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) under the Emergency Food Scheme.
Sources say that on August 18, 2008, one Emmanuel Ojik Onyuta from the above company approached Mukula with a proposal of the ill-fated deal. After convincing him that he had been seconded by deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Mukula erased any doubt he had for Ojik and agreed to do business with him.
An unsuspecting Mukula borrowed USD8,000 from KCB Bank Jinja Road branch and rented several warehouses in major towns like Mbale, Kasese, Kampala, and Bweyale.
These stores were used as the collection centers for the maize and each of them cost him monthly rent fees of USD2,000. According to the agreement, Mukula was to receive payment for the supplies by May 2009.
After supplying over 50 trailers of maize, Ojik gave him a cheque worth USD2,205,262. However, this cheque bounced. When contacted for comment, Mukula confirmed the incident.
He revealed that thereafter, he severally contacted Ojik over the payment but each time he begged him to be patient since the matter was being handled by the South Sudanese Government.
“He even reached at an extent of sending me the likes of Hon Oulanya, Betty Bigombe and Norbert Mao to plead on his behalf,” Mukula said. Mukula’s patience however ran out, forcing him to file a case against Ojik, reference CRB119/12 at Kampala Central Police Station.
Being a high level case involving eye-watering sums of money, the suspect was arrested and detained at CPS Kampala on March 1, 2012. Mukula also shockingly obtained information that the suspect had several passports and other travel documents; which information was passed over to Police.
The suspect was however found released from Police custody under unclear circumstances that very night. “I received information that he was reportedly released without recording a statement, on the orders of Paul Mugisha, the Kampala Metropolitan Police CID boss,” Mukula said.
Mukula revealed that several other exporters like Apollo Nyegamehi of APONYE Investments, and Henry Kaijuka also suffered the same fate. Together with these colleagues, they approached the South Sudan Government but failed to get any viable response because the country is currently cash strapped as a result of being in war with the Khartoum government.
He called upon the Uganda Government to intervene in the matter or else the complainants will have no option but to drag the South Sudan Government and Ojik to court.
I paid the bank loan after realizing that Ojik was a conman but we have formed an association under which we are going to meet President Museveni and the Bank of Uganda Governor to find a solution.