By Ivan Mwine
They say a thief has 40 days and it seems these days are over for city journalist Andrew Irumba, who runs a website known as Spy Uganda, and is the chairperson of the Independent Online Journalists Association (INDOJA).
Our Moles reveal that Irumba faces arrest over allegations that he swindled over Shs156M with collusion from some officials at Uganda Airlines.
Credible sources reveal that trouble for Irumba started last year, when he convinced INDOJA members that through his connections with Jenifer Bamuturaki, the Acting Chief Executive Officer Uganda Airlines, he would solicit for the scribes a deal to offer online media services to the national airliner.
It is said that Irumba took the INDOJA members through the process of chasing after the deal and some had to even be compelled to pay subscription and membership fees to Irumba such that their websites or blogs could be put into consideration.
Sources within INDOJA however reveal that although they did everything Irumba demanded that they do in order to partake of the share from Uganda Airlines, whenever they asked him about the progress of the deal he would avoid giving them direct answers.
INDOJA members say previously Irumba had called all members to submit their online statistics showing their readership, viewers, which would enable Uganda Airlines to give them an advert.
“We all submitted what Mr. Irumba requested from us with the hope of getting an advert from Uganda Airlines,” a source within INDOJA who preferred anonymity for fear of being witch-hunted said.
The source added that; “However, whenever we would ask him about the progress or follow up of the matter he would tell us; “Be patient, we are finalizing on Sunday. I’m in a middle of every negotiation. No online paper can get an advert before INDOJA member. I would rather put my hand for cutting….”
The source also added that to their shock however, a few days ago a whistleblower at the Uganda Airlines revealed that actually they money had already been disbursed to Irumba’s personal account number 0153002159 in United Bank of Africa (UBA).
The revelation came to light after the whistleblower leaked documents pertaining to the contract that was signed between Irumba, on behalf of INDOJA, plus Jenifer Bamuturaki, Joseph Byaruhanga and Samuel Mayanja who work in finance department, on behalf of Uganda Airlines.
The documents indicate that on December 24, 2021, Uganda Airlines signed one year Contract with INDOJA to provide online media services.
The contract signed between the two parties reads in part thus;
“This agreement made this 24 December 2021 between Uganda National Airlines Company Limited P.o box 432 Entebbe and Independent Journalists Association of Uganda.”
The contract further says that the procuring and disposable entity shall pay the provider (INDOJA) the contract price of Shs13,000,000 payable monthly for a period of twelve months totaling to Shs156,000,000, including all taxes at the times and in the manner prescribed in the contract.
However, although the documents indicate that the contract was signed between INDOJA and Uganda Airlines, it has since turned out that the money was never declared to the management and members of INDOJA.
Documents indicate that a day before he signed a contract, Irumba had submitted an INDOJA Invoice demanding the payment of Shs117m from Uganda Airlines.
The same day December 24, 2021, an internal memo from the procurement department was issued requesting for the payment of Shs117m to INDOJA.
The payment was requested by one Joseph Byaruhanga and recommended for payment on December 27th, 2021 by Samuel Mayanja and approved by Bamutaraki and the money was paid to Irumba.
A few months later, in May 2022, money amounting to Shs26m was again paid in the same bank after being approved by Jenifer Bamuturaki and recommended by Samuel Mayanja, Paul Turacayisenga and Shaukie Kabogoza.
It is suspected that after depositing the money on his account, Irumba cut off the share for the Uganda Airlines bosses and shamelessly pocketed the rest without informing the INDOJA members, never expecting them to ever find out.
It is for that reason that INDOJA members have since vowed to petition the police, Anti-Corruption Court and the Inspector General of Government to intervene in the matter such they can bring Irumba and the crafty Uganda Airlines officials he deals with to book.
However,, our efforts to reach Irumba and Bamuturaki for a comment about this matter were futile by press time because they couldn’t be reached through their known phone contacts.