First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni took Shs54 million which was part of the money meant for Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI), the Anti-Corruption Court heard Tuesday.
The claim was made by former state health minister in charge of general duties Capt. Mike Mukula while defending himself over allegations that he stole Shs210 million from the GAVI Fund account.
“First I deny that I stole Shs210 million from the Gavi account, my duty with a clear recollection was that on 14th January, 2005 at Imperial Resort Hotel in Entebbe, in a meeting with the First Lady of the Republic of Uganda, Maama Janet Museveni, a verbal request was made to me in person to help her source funding to help her activities in mobilisation in the country for the good of the health of children, mothers and others,” said Capt. Mukula.
Capt. Mukula who is also the Soroti Municipality MP, told court presided over by Chief Magistrate Irene Akankwasa that he accepted the First Lady’s request before asking her to formalise by writing.
“I did accept to do so upon receipt of the formal request from her office. On the 31st of January 2005, a letter was forwarded to me signed by Madam Margaret Lalam, one of the senior private secretaries in the State House, actualising a formal request from Maama Janet Museveni with an attachment of a follow-up of the three proposed conferences,” he said.
He further said that in consultation with his then boss, Maj Gen. Jim Muhwezi, who was the health minister, the money was processed and paid.
The 56-year-old former minister said three vouchers were processed in different amounts; Shs136,890,000 million, Shs73,146,000million and Shs53,819,000 million totaling to Sh263,855,000 million, which he signed.
He said only Shs54 million was disbursed to the office of the first lady and Shs210 was re-banked on the GAVI Fund account in Bank of Uganda.
“I am aware that the Shs54 million was received and acknowledged by the First Lady’s office and it was accounted for,” Capt Mukula said.