The cases that rocked the dock
Posted Friday, December 28 2012 at 02:00
Justice. The courts have been busy handling cases, both old and fresh. As we end the year, we look at some of the cases that dominated the headlines.
During the process of dispensing justice in 2012, the courts witnessed more cases of corruption involving prominent persons among others.
The Anti-Corruption Court dismissed charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss of Shs14 billion ahead of the 2007 Chogm summit against three Cabinet ministers; Sam Kutesa (Foreign Affairs), John Nasasira (then General Duties OPM), and Mwesigwa Rukutana (State for Labour).
The trial Judge, in acquitting and discharging the trio, cited failure by the State to bring sufficient evidence to warrant them to defend themselves.
The IGG had earlier indicted the ministers.
The ministers, who denied any wrongdoing, had been accused of deciding that the government would fully fund the construction of drive ways, parking areas and marina at Speke Resort Munyonyo at Shs14 billion.
Eleven witnesses testified in the case.
The court also acquitted two former health ministers, Maj. Gen. (rtd) Jim Muhwezi and Dr Alex Kamugisha, who were accused of mismanaging Shs1.6 billion meant for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), citing lack of evidence. The court is yet to determine the fate of Capt. Mike Mukula, the third accused person in the case that has lasted for seven years.
Capt. Mukula, who was expected to explain the whereabouts of Shs210 million, said he paid the money to Janet Museveni’s team. Court set January 2013 for judgment.
In another acquittal, two senior Daily Monitor editors (Daniel Kalinaki- Managing Editor and Henry Ochieng- Political Editor) began the year in good spirits after Makindye Chief Magistrate Court in February, acquitted and discharged them of charges of forgery.
The duo had been accused of forging President Museveni’s letter on Banyoro/Bafuruki land question.
Mr Ochieng also celebrated when he was acquitted of another case of criminal libel he jointly faced with Angelo Izama, a journalist.
Among the convictions, the Anti-Corruption Court convicted former city socialite Shanita Namuyimbwa alias Bad Black and sentenced her to four years in prison for embezzling Shs11 billion from a real estate company (Daveshan Company).
The same court also convicted her co- accused, Meddie Ssentongo, of conspiracy to defraud Daveshan Company and sentenced him to 18 months in jail. However, Ms Namuyimbwa has since appealed against the punishment and was granted bail.
Two accomplices in the murder of 18-month-old toddler Kham Kakama; Mellon Nabaasa and Brian Sajjabi were convicted of child kidnap and murder cases and sentenced to 50 years in jail by the High Court in Nakawa.
The third convict, Gordon Tumusiime, was earlier sentenced to 30 years after he pleaded guilty to similar charges.
Kampala High Court quashed a three-year jail sentence against Chinese businesswoman Yuping Zhang, who was convicted following a commercial dispute with Fang Fang Group proprietor Ms Fang Min.
She had been convicted by Buganda Road Court in 2011 for issuing three false cheques to Ms Fang Min but the punishment was overturned.
KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi Semakula triumphed over Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago in a case of power struggle.
Mr Lukwago had accused her of passing off as the head of the authority and referring to his office as ceremonial.