Gaming board boss weeps in court over Shs700m theft case

Friday July 5 2019

In court. The executive director of Gaming

In court. The executive director of Gaming Board, Mr Edgar Agaba (centre), is comforted after being granted bail by the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

Kampala. Mr Edgar Agaba, the chief executive officer of Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board, broke down in court as the clerk read to him charges of stealing more than Shs700m and causing financial loss of Shs350m to government.
He was jointly charged with his manager for finance and administration, Mr John Patrick Kazoora, on offences of embezzlement and causing financial loss.
They appeared before Chief Magistrate, Ms Pamela Lamunu Ocaya of the Anti-Corruption Court at Kololo.

They denied the charges and were later released on a cash bail of Shs20m. They were ordered to deposit their passports in court.
“I have heard the submissions for and against the bail application for the two accused persons. The accused persons have proved that they have fixed places of residence,” Ms Ocaya said.
The magistrate adjourned the case to August 16 to allow completion of investigations by the state.
Prosecution alleges that between October 2018 and February this year at Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board offices in Kampala, Mr Agaba and Kazoora stole Shs352.5m belonging to government.

In the second count the prosecution contends that the duo approved and forwarded requisition documents for payment of Shs470m to the Ministry of Finance purporting the same to be payment for hotel services rendered during the sensitisation exercise of Kampala Central Division technical staff for four days while knowing the same to have been conducted for only one day, which caused financial loss of about Shs352,500,000.

Stealing the money

The state alleges that between January and May this year at the board offices, Mr Agaba and Mr Kazoora also stole Shs360m which money was approved as part of the Shs470m for payment of hotel services rendered during the sensitisation exercise of boda-boda riders from Kawempe Division for four days.
Mr Agaba and Kazoora are part of the senior government officials being probed by the Anti-Corruption Unit of State House headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema in regard to abuse of office, causing financial loss and embezzlement.
Others include officials from the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

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