Kampala. Scenes of hugs and jubilations were what characterised the Kololo-based Anti-Corruption Court on Monday following the dismissal of the multi-billion shillings pension scam case. The case involved several top officials of the Public Service Ministry, including interdicted permanent secretary Jimmy Lwamafa.
The case was dismissed by Chief Magistrate Sarah Langa Siu, who is also acting deputy registrar, on grounds that the State had in the last two years failed to bring even a single witness to testify against the nine suspects.
Ms Siu said the patience of the court had been tested adding that justice ‘delayed’ is justice ‘denied’.
The defence lawyers led by Mr John Isabirye and Mr Evans Ochieng, had among others, argued that the prosecution had for the last two years made it a habit to just come to court and seek for an adjournment without showing any seriousness to prosecute their clients.
But the prosecution had earlier unsuccessfully requested the court to grant them an adjournment of two weeks to enable them reorganise themselves, citing among others, the demise of senior principle State Attorney Joan Kagezi as one of the setbacks that slowed down their evidence assessment.
“The case was registered in January 2013 and, no single witness has ever come to this court to testify against the accused persons to be expeditiously tried and their fate determined. This case is dismissed due to want of prosecution,” ruled Ms Langa.
However, magistrate Langa declined to issue orders to have the frozen bank accounts of some the freed suspects lifted on grounds that it was not court that ordered the freezing.
The other officials who were freed yesterday include; Christopher Obey (former principal accountant), Steven Kunsa Kiwanuka (former director for research and development), David Japins Oloka (former senior accounts assistant), Francis Lubega (former information system analyst), Steven Lwanga (former account assistant), Peter Ssajjabi (East African Community Beneficiaries Association), Ishaka Sentongo (Assistant Manager Operations Cairo Bank) and Ms Rahmah Nakigozi Mugeere (Compliance Officer, Cairo Bank).