Saturday January 4 2014

Corruption trials resume next week



The trial of several high profile government officials facing corruption charges resumes next week, five months after the suspension of the Anti-Corruption Court.

In July last year, the Constitutional Court stayed all criminal proceedings on corruption cases in the Anti-Corruption Court following a petition by Davis Tusingwire challenging its constitutionality.

However, on December 20, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Anti-Corruption Court is properly established and constitutionally mandated to try corruption cases.

On Thursday, the Anti-Corruption Court Registrar Fred Waninda said the court has already resumed work following the Constitutional Court judgment. He said production warrants had been issued for corruption suspects remanded at Luzira prisons to appear in court on the respective dates next week. The suspects who are out of jail on bail have also been notified to appear in court for their trial.

Cases listed
Some of the high profile cases that have been listed for hearing on Wednesday next week include; the pension scam in which interdicted permanent secretary of Public Service Ministry Jimmy Lwamafa and seven others are charged with causing government financial loss of more than Shs165 billion by creating 2,605 ghost pensioners as the conduit for the stolen money.

Another case is of jailed former chief accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister Geoffrey Kazinda and three others on trial for alleged embezzlement, false accounting, forgery, conspiracy and causing financial loss to government. Kazinda is already serving a five-year jail sentence on a related case.

The third high profile matter is the Local Council I bicycle scandal in which former Permanent Secretary in the Local Government Ministry John Muhanguzi Kashaka and five others are accused of signing a dubious contract for supply of 70,000 bicycles to village local councils.

They are also accused of paying out $1.7 million (about Shs4.6 billion) to the supplier without authority and for goods which were not delivered.