More Mbarara District officials charged over corruption

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By EPHRAIM KASOZI

KAMPALA. Two senior officials of Mbarara Municipal Council, who are accused of fraud in connection with presenting false accountability for more than Shs690 million have been granted a cash bail of Shs10m each.

The Kololo based Anti-Corruption Court before Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ocaya also ordered Mr Edward Lwanga and Mr Kerere Richard Mutungi to deposit their passports in court in order to have their travels regulated.

“I agree with the submissions of the state on no objection to the bail application and this court finds the sureties presented are substantial,” held Ms Ocaya who bonded the eight sureties at a non-cash fee of Shs100m each.

Ms Ocaya adjourned the case to April 4 this year for mention upon the state submission that investigations were still ongoing.

Mr Lwanga, the former Town Clerk of Mbarara Municipal Council and principal treasurer, Mutungi were arraigned before court hardly a week after their arrest by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit headed by Lt Col. Edith Nakalema.

The suspects who spent close to three hours in the court holding cells denied charges of false accounting by a public officer.

The state alleges that between September 11 and October 2019, at Mbarara Municipal Council, the accused persons who are charged with the receipt, custody and management of funds released to the municipality by the Uganda Road Fund, knowingly furnished a false statement of accountability for Shs412.2m and that between December 2018 and January 15, they presented a false statement of accountability of Shs281.9m.

Prosecution contends that the said money was meant for road works in the municipality.

The charging of Mr Lwanga and Mr Mutungi brings to six the number of local government officials from Mbarara District charged over corruption related cases.

Last week, the four people including Chief Administrative officer Mr Felix Cuthbert Esoku were charged with abuse of office in connection with illegal allocation, acquisition of government land in the district.

Others are Ms Godlive Nayebare (Mbarara District Senior Land management officer), Emmanuel Himbisa (District Surveyor) and Human Resource Officer and Clerk to the district council, Ms Rosalia Karuhanga.

In the same line, the MP for Rwampara Constituency in Mabrara District, Mr Charles Ngabirano was interrogated over alleged fraud in connection with acquisition and transfer of public land into private names.

Mr Ngabirano appeared at the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) at Kibuli in Makindye Division following summons.

Police CID Spokesperson, Mr Vincent Ssekatte confirmed the developments saying that Mr Ngabirano was questioned in regard to alleged conspiracy to defraud.

He said that the legislator was released on bond pending further investigations in illegal acquisition and allocation of government land housing District Veterinary plot in Mbarara Municipality.

Monitor.co.ug

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