What you need to know:
- Prison authorities Wednesday presented a medical form to the Magistrates Court at Buganda Road stating that the accused Balondemu is currently admitted at the Luzira-based Murchison Bay Hospital over ill health.
The chairperson of Kampala District Land Board, Mr David Balondemu who is accused of fraud has been granted a Shs5 million cash bail in absentia.
Prison authorities Wednesday presented a medical form to the Magistrates Court at Buganda Road stating that the accused Balondemu is currently admitted at the Luzira-based Murchison Bay Hospital over ill health.
“The court has today November 29, 2023, received communication from the officer in charge of Uganda Prisons Murchison Bay of A2, Balondemu David's inability to attend court due to poor health and being on admission in Murchison Bay hospital,” the magistrate, Ms Winnie Nankya said before delivering her ruling in which she granted bail to Mr Balondemu and ordered him to pay Shs5 million in cash.
Ms Nankya also granted bail to Mr Balondemu’s co-accused person; Mr Joseph Ibona, an accountant at Bloom Advocates Limited and another lawyer Eric Geoffrey Mkwe.
The trio has been on remand and is facing charges of alleged fraud in connection with illegally obtaining more than Shs2 billion from a United States firm, KG Unlimited LLC.
The magistrate held that the three accused persons satisfied all the requirements for bail and their sureties were each bonded at Shs20 million, not cash.
“The presumption of innocence is a constitutional preserve and it is among the key guiding factors for a grant of bail, health of the accused only adds an extraneous circumstance for a grant of bail but is not in any way a determining factor,” Ms Naknya ruled.
It is alleged that between the months of November 2022 and April 2023 at Bloom Advocates located at Kingdom Building in Kampala, Kaweesa, Balondemu, Mkwe, Ibona and others still at large, with intent to defraud obtained $553,000 (more than Shs2 billion) from KG Unlimited LLC by falsely pretending that they were going to award it a contract of supplying agricultural Drone Sprayers and fertilizers from Ministry of agriculture, animal industries and fisheries whereas not.
The state contends that the four accused persons and others on the run conspired to commit a felony by obtaining the said money falsely from the American firm.
This is the second time; Mr Balondemu has been granted bail. Mr Balondemu was granted bail in October this year after he was charged for allegedly defrauding a Korean investor of over Shs2 billion in a gold scam.
Mr Balondemu is jointly facing the charge with James Jeff Mugisha 34, and Godfrey Maviri 38 both self-employed.