ISO Report Clears Speaker Among of Alleged Theft of Parliamentary Bus

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President Museveni directed the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to investigate allegations that Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, misappropriated a bus belonging to the Parliament of Uganda for her private school in Bukedea District.

This directive came in response to a viral tweet by Kakwenza Rukirabashaija on May 24, 2024, accusing Among of altering the bus’s number plates and diverting it for personal use.

This directive came in response to a viral tweet posted on May 24, 2024, by Kakwenza Rukirabashaija on his X account @KakwenzaRukira, which alleged that Among had stolen and altered the number plates of a parliamentary bus.

The tweet included photographs of the bus, bearing Registration Number Plate UBN 762S, purportedly diverted to Among’s school. The post quickly gained traction, accumulating 358,000 views, 290 reposts, 1,700 likes, 25 quotes, and 50 bookmarks by May 27, 2024.

In response to these allegations, President Museveni, who has increasingly taken social media reports on corruption, human rights abuses, and governance seriously, ordered a thorough investigation by the ISO.

According to the investigation report submitted to President Museveni, the findings showed no evidence of theft. The report clarified that the bus in question, bearing Registration Number Plate UBN 762S, is registered under the name of Anita Foundation. The registration was completed on October 10, 2023, by the Kampala Motor Vehicle Registration Unit.

Signed by ISO chief, Brig Charles Oluka, the report dated May 29, 2024, observed that the office of the Chief Licensing Officer of Motor Vehicles at the Ministry of Works and Transport provided the Motor Vehicle profile for UBN 7625, with several details. 

He said the vehicle had its first registration application in Uganda under Acknowledgement Number MVR 123019548397 on 10th June 2023, at 11:31 hours and the application was approved on the same day at 13:39 hours.

Oluka also reported that the four Parliament buses, in their Registration Books issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Ministry of Works and Transport, “have different Chassis and Engine Numbers from the ones of UBN 762S that is owned by Anita Foundation Ltd and operated by Bukedea Comprehensive School.”

According to Oluka, the engine number 78911740 is consistent in the Registration Book, the URA Customs entry, the East African Community Certificate of Origin and the Motor Vehicle profile provided by the Ministry of Works and Transport.

Part of Oluka’s report to President Museveni

He further pointed out that the four Parliamentary buses that were procured for the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) that took place in September 2019 are of the same make and similar appearance as UBN 762S which is owned by Anita Foundation Ltd and operated by Bukedea Comprehensive School.

“Documentary evidence obtained from the Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda Revenue Authority and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau pertaining to the importation and registration of MV UBN 762S is sufficient proof of rightful ownership by Anita Foundation Ltd and can be relied on to dispel the allegations of theft,” said Brig Oluka.

Oluka told President Museveni that at the time of registration, Among’s bus did not have any third-party endorsements – i.e. this was its first registration in Uganda.

He also pointed out that under Customs Entry C58022, the vehicle was assessed and issued with a tax bill of Shs 71,674,937.

On 27th May 2024, the Uganda Revenue Authority provided a copy of the customs entry that was lodged by a clearing firm named Race Logistics (U) Ltd on behalf of the importer Anita Foundation Ltd.

This entry had an invoice of USD 78,000 (seventy-eight thousand US dollars) for a newly built 69-passenger bus with all parts intact and in good working condition issued by Labh Singh Harnam Singh Ltd to Anita Foundation dated 26th May 2023. 

The East African Community Certificate of Origin for the bus was issued under Reference Number KEN/NBL/M/75/2021 by the Republic of Kenya, represented by the Customs and Border Control Department, against a declaration by the exporter dated 24th May 2023. 

 At the time of lodging the customs entry for clearing the bus on 9th June 2023, the bus was in a URA Customs-controlled area – i.e. Bonded Warehouse Number 0333.

While Among’s bus was shipped to Uganda in 2023, Parliament’s buses were procured in 2019.  

“In the FY 2018/19, the Parliamentary Commission procured four King Long executive luxury coach buses under procurement reference POU/SUPLS/ODB/18-19/00520. The contract was awarded to M/S The Motor Centre East Africa Ltd and, specifically, the origin of the buses was China,” said Oluka.

“The procured buses were all manufactured in 2019, registered in the names of the Parliament of Uganda on 17th September 2019, and allocated the URA Customs entry, the East African Community Certificate of Origin and Motor Vehicle profile provided by the Ministry of Works and Transport.”

He said one of the Parliament’s buses, Registration Number UG 0391H, caught fire and burnt at Koro-Abili on the Gulu-Kampala highway on 17th September 2020. 

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