Court heard that the group on February 25th 2019 using their respective offices at Jinja Municipal Council irregularly recommended, initiated, authorized and approved payment of 120 million shillings to United Development SACCO purportedly for loans deductions arrears for the year 2016.
Ten officials of Jinja Municipal Council have been charged for allegedly
causing government financial loss and abuse of office.
Out of the ten officials, only four appeared before the
Anti-Corruption Court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Moses Nabende while
the six were charged in absentia.
Those who turned up in court were Jofram Waidhuuba former Acting Town Clerk,
Ronald Elijah Kafifi Principal Treasurer, Samuel Maali Principal Human Resource
Officer and Jemimah Mirembe the Principal Education Officer.
Those who did not appear in court are Aminah Mutesi the Acting Principal
Education Officer for Jinja Municipal Council, Celia Ahimbisibwe the Research
Assistant for Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and
businessman Sam Otukol alias Samuel Okello.
Others are; John Stephen Okiror, Juliet Akello and Denis Elasu who
are the Chairperson, Treasurer and the Secretary for United for
Development SACCO respectively.
Court heard that the group on February 25th 2019 using their respective offices
at Jinja Municipal Council irregularly recommended, initiated, authorized and
approved payment of 120 million shillings to United Development SACCO
purportedly for loans deductions arrears for the year 2016.
According to the prosecution, the actions were prejudicial to the
interests of their employer and later caused government financial loss.
It is alleged that the Municipal Council officials and those from the
United Development Sacco connived with those of the Ministry of Finance under
the guise of loan deductions from civil servants in the district.
As such, the officials at the Ministry of Finance allegedly
created a payment number under the Integrated Financial Management System Okaying
the payment. However, it was later discovered that the payment was irregular
after investigations revealed that there is no civil servant who had acquired
the alleged loans.
The officials were interdicted from office and told to report to the
State House Anti-Corruption Unit on Thursday from where they were arrested.
They denied the charges and asked the court to grant them bail.
Through their lawyers, Gerald Batanda and Earnest Isaac Muwanga
they noted that the offences were are bailable. They presented sureties who
were all employees of Jinja Municipal Council.
The State Attorney James Khauka said investigations were still ongoing. Khauka
also revealed that the accused persons in 2020 entered plea bargaining with the
Prosecution and so far the money has been refunded to the State.
Nabende asked each of the accused persons to pay 500,000 shillings
and sureties to execute a non-cash bond agreement of 8 million shillings.
Their lawyer Earnest Isaac Muwanga said they were surprised when
their clients were produced in court yet they had refunded the money to the
State to protect their names.