Soroti teacher in trouble after receiving salary for no sweat

By Sania Babirye

A teacher in Soroti District local government, Acom Harriet has been arraigned before the Anti-Corruption court and charged with causing government a financial loss of over Seven million shillings in salary despite failure to perform her duties.

She appeared before grade a One Magistrate Moses Nabende and denied the said charges.

She has however been released on a cash bail of UGX 500,000 and ordered to return to court on the 26th of this month for hearing of her case.

Prosecution also informed court that investigations into the matter are complete.

Prosecution states that between April 2016 and December 2017, in Soroti, Acom was employed as a teacher at Soroti Municipal Council, she absconded from duties but regularly received salary amounting to 7,572,654 million shillings knowing or having reasons to believe that her acts of receiving money for no work done would cause financial loss and indeed caused the said financial loss to the Government of Uganda.

Kazinda corruption charges continue

By Sania Babirye

The Director of Public prosecutions has started reinstating corruption charges against the former principle accountant in the office of the prime minister Geoffrey Kazinda despite a constitutional ruling that stayed all pending charges against Kazinda in relation to his 2012 financial abuse and Embezzlement charges.

On the 12th of this month, the Supreme Court stayed the 7th August 2020, Constitutional Court ruling which directed that Kazinda be released from Luzira prison where he has been incarcerated since 2012 despite having served his five year jail term for embezzling refugee funds.

However, being dissatisfied, the DPP filed an appeal which is yet to be fixed.

Kazinda was arrested in 2012 and charged before the anti-corruption court with corruption related charges which included embezzlement, causing financial loss, forgery and abuse of office.

He has been in Luzira prison since 2013 when he was convicted on unlawfully possessing government stores and sentenced to five years and despite finishing the said sentence he is still held in prison due to pending charges that continue to be brought against him by the state.

Sylvia Ntambi free at last, corruption cases against her withdrawn

By Sania Babirye

The Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi is a free person after the Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn all corruption charges against her.

Anti corruption court judge Margaret Tibulya has dismissed the said charges after State Attorney Gloria Inzikuru presented withdraw letter dated 18th January 2021 indicating that DPP has lost interest in the matter.

Ntambi had been charged together with nine other equal opportunity employees for conspiring to defraud government more than 35 million shillings by allegedly paying themselves as per diem for editing and drafting Equal Opportunities Commission HIV/AIDS workplace Policy, yet none of the officials was reportedly entitled to it between January and December 2018.

According to the Prosecution the per diem in question was acquired by Agnes Enid Kamahoro, the Senior Personal Secretary Equal Opportunities Commission and later approved by Mpitsi Mujuni, the Secretary to the Commission, an act which caused financial loss to the government.

The Prosecution also contends that the monies which the accused persons accessed by the virtue of the different offices had been earmarked for sensitization on equity and rights issues in lower local governments in Karamoja region.

However Ntambi and her co accused denies the said charges and were currently out on bail after spending time on remand.

Uganda’s ranking in fight against corruption drops

By Alice Lubwama

Uganda’s ranking in the fight against corruption has dropped from 137th to 142nd position out of the 180 countries that were assessed in the world.

According to the corruption index report of 2020 released by Transparency International Uganda today, Uganda has moved from the third to the fourth position as the most corrupt country in the East African region after Burundi.

While releasing the report, the executive director Transparency International Uganda, Peter Wandera said that the drop in ranking could have resulted from the corruption scandals that surrounded the management and allocation of resources for COVID-19 pandemic and the bribery during election period.

“Even up to now we not sure how some of these monies were used, there was bribery at quarantine centers, so all this might have contributed to our drop.” Wandera said.

He now calls upon leaders from Uganda and Burundi to have political will to fight corruption just like their counterparts in Rwanda and Tanzania.

“Tanzania used to perform poorly previously, we were in the same club of poor performers but president Magufuli, has done reforms and stood his ground on the issues of corruption by putting to order any public official that has been found to be corrupt.” he added

In the Sub Saharan region Seychelles was the best performing country, followed by Botswana and Cape Verde.

The best performing countries across the world were Denmark followed by New Zealand, Finland and Singapore among others.

Civil society pushes for witness protection in fight against corruption

By Deo Wasswa

Discrediting the work of the state house anti corruption unit has remained one of the major challenges to the unit as it continues to execute it’s mandate of curbing corruption in the country.

The remarks were made by the head of state house anti-Corruption unite Col. Edith Nakalema while giving a keynote speech at the 9th anti-Corruption convention that convened in Kampala.

According to her, once corrupt officials fail to bribe investigators,they resort to discrediting the unit’s work.

She also says the unit has continued to receive complaints from communities of people who go there pretending they are coming from state house anti -Corruption unit and intimidate them.

Nakalema said that as the unit makes two years in existence soon, it has made some tremendous achievements which include, recovering UGX 24.5 billion from cases investigated, 248 culprits have been arrested and arraigned in courts of law, 24 convicted and sentenced among other achievements.

In the same meeting, anti -Corruption activists say the absence of whistle blower’s Fund in the country has continued to affect the fight against corruption.

Peter Wandera, the executive director of Transparency international Uganda says, the absence of this fund to facilitate those willing to report and track the corruption related cases has remained a major challenge.

According to him, with current situation where there is even no witness protection law, it has also continued to to pose risk to lives of whistle blowers.

He says it is high time the government, civil society and anti corruption agencies to think of putting an active an whistle blowers fund to tackle the matter.

The two day convention convened by Action aid Uganda in partnership with anti corruption coalition Uganda, and transparency international Uganda is running under the theme “Promoting social accountability through active citizenry”.

Former Maracha district HR in trouble over double salaries

By Sania Babirye
The anti corruption court has ordered the former Human Resource Officer of Maracha District Local Government to pay a 7.5 million court fine or in default serve three years imprisonment for abuse of Office and conspiracy to commit a felony.

This is after grade One Magistrate Abert Asiimwe found guilty Asizuwa Rogers of deliberately maintaining a 71 year old retired Civil Servant Aya Charles on the pay roll as Assistant Agricultural Officer yet he had transferred his services to NAADS; and the duo defrauded the District of UGX 16.950.500.

Court also uncovered that 71 year old Aya Charles used to draw two salaries from public service contrary to the Law; and out of the 470,000shs he would earn as Assistant Agricultural Officer, he would give Asizuwa a kick back of 200,000shs per month from March/2011 upto January/2014 when they were discovered.

Although Aya refunds the UGX 16.950.500 to Maracha District he will also be required to pay a fine of UGX1.5m or in default serve one year imprisonment. Despite of being remorseful they needed to give a deterrent sentence to the would be offenders in the future.

I will lead by example -Muntu

By Sania Babirye

Alliance for National Transformation party presidential flag bearer Gan.Muntu has promised residents of Kikube that he will wipe out corruption which he says has eaten out Uganda up to the marrow.

Addressing the gathering on Sunday, in Hoima City, Muntu stated that the demarcation will be clear and that those who cross that line will be dealt with.

He has asked Ugandans to have confidence in him saying that he will lead by example.

Today, Muntu and his campaign team will be Kibale, Kagadi and Kakumiro districts.

Meanwhile, Muntu says going to witness the ballots printing as requested by EC to opposition leaders is not important but guarding them when they reach Uganda.

Muntu says that it is more important to protect the ballot papers during packing, while being taken to the polling centers so that illegal ballot papers that are not sent are not added onto the official ballot papers.

Muntu adds that this includes knowing the serial numbers for the said ballot papers sent and how many are sent by all agents.

He there fore disqualifies the witnessing of printing of the ballot printing as an important process and that he would not have gone even if EC had facilitated his travel.

Town clerk remanded

By Sania Babirye

The Principal Township Officer of Kalungu District LG, Ddamba Joel has been a arraigned before the anti corruption court and charged with corruption and abuse of office after selling off government land to a businessman in Masaka district.

Ddamba was arrested the 12th of October by the office of the IGG after being on the run for the last 5 months to answer the charges of abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud.

46 year old Ddamba is charged together with a 49 year old businessman in Masaka district Moses Kalisa with loss of public property, abuse of office, corruption and conspiracy to defraud.

These have pleaded not guilty and remanded to Kitalya government prison until the 29th of this month after they pleaded not guilty to the said offences.

On the 24th of July this year, Buganda road court issued a warrant of arrest for Ddamba to be arraigned before anti corruption court grade one magistrate Ebert Ashimwe to answer to the said charges but to no avail.

Prosecution led by the IGG’s led by Hilda Talibba states that the Ddamba in 2013 while employed as a senior assistant town clerk of Katwe Butego division in Masaka municipality town council by virtue of his office fraudulently disposed off the division land comprised in plot 46-52 Kampala road, land at Mutuba Musisi Garden, Masaka municipality at Uganda shillings 150 million shillings to a one Moses Kalisa without the approval or knowledge of the division/municipal authorities in breach of the procurement laws and guidelines an arbitrary act prejudicial to the interest of his employer.

End.

Kazinda decries continued stay in prison

By Sania Babirye

The former principle accountant in the office if the prime minister Geoffrey Kazinda has informed Anti corruption judge Margret Tubulya that he will not be appearing in court anymore in the trial of his illicit enrichment case until determination.

Kazinda has stated that its unfair and unjust that the Inspectorate of government is using the said case to deny him his freedom yet even the constitutional court dismissed charges against him in relation to the said case.

The frustrated Kazinda says that for the past eight years since he was first charged in 2013, the IGG has failed to complete the said case denying him his right to speedy trial and justice.

And as a result, Kazinda has asked court to continue the case without his intake and deliver judgement.

However, the IGG says the case is its advanced stages and that if Kazinda is frustrated now, he can be given smoke time to rest in Luzira and then be able to attend court for his case.

IGG also says that despite last week’s ruling, court did not clear the said case against him.

This is the second time that court is freeing Kazinda but only to be remanded back for other pending charges.

IGG accuses Kazinda of amassing wealth amounting to 4.6 billion shillings which is not inline with his known income.

According to the IGG, Kazinda’s estimated income as a public servant from 2009 to 2012 was 83.7 million shillings.

The DPP has meanwhile withdraw about 73 charges of corruption Including forgery, causing financial loss and criminal conspiracy among others against Kazinda that had been slapped against him by state after the constitutional court cleared Kazinda on the said charges.

Kazinda has been in Luzira prison since 2013 when he was convicted on unlawfully possessing government stores and sentenced to five years and despite finishing the said sentence he is still held in prison due to pending charges that continue to be brought against him by the state.

By the time of his arrest on illicit enrichment charges, IGG found out that Kazinda had rented Constellation suites in Nakasero and apartments in Kampala for ten months at a cost of 210 million shillings, had a house and land at Kyadondo , Mengo West valued at 3.1bn, cars including BMW,Mercedes Benz, ML class, Dodge Saloon car all valued at 769 million shillings and diverting over 20bn government funds.

Nizeyimana fired over abuse of office

By Sania Babirye

The deputy registrar of the executive and bailiffs division of the high court Deo Nizeyimana has been interdicted for abusing his judicial authority.

According to the interdiction letter written and signed by the chief registrar Tom Chemutai dated 29th june 2020, Nizeyimana has been fired on he orders of the acting chief justice and also deputy chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi Dolo.

In the said letter, Nezeyimana is further accused of producing poor standard of work contrary to the judicial service Regulations and conducting himself in a manner prejudicial to the image,dignity and reputation of the service .

Evidence shows that on the 2nd of June 2020,Nizeyimana issued an ex- pate Garnishee order in a case between Total Uganda ltd and O A Basid ltd where the assistant registrar of the same court had issued an interim order of stay of execution in the same matter on the 2nd of October 2019.

Nizeyimana also is said to have issued the said order in defiance of the chief justice’s directives suspending execution proceedings inline with the National Directives to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The said order was also issued without notifying the respondent.

The chief registrar says his Nizeyimana has been forwarded before the judicial service commission for disciplinary action and ordered to hand over with immediate effect all government property’s and court files to the registrar of the high court.

The letter further states that Nizeyimana will be receiving half salary and is bared from leaving Uganda without the permission of the chief registrar.