“Four staff members who were arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court, Kampala, pleaded guilty to abuse of office, causing financial loss, and conspiracy to defraud and had their cases dropped by DPP. Ref: Criminal Case No. 149/2019 Uganda Vs Omeke David, Odongo James, Otim Gilbert, and Omoding Samuel. One staff member, who stole and sold a bull, which belonged to the University has never been prosecuted”, she notes in her May 16th, 2022 letter.
Ruth Achimo charting with the police last year at Soroti Court premises
The embattled Soroti University Secretary, Ruth Achimo Etibot
has run to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit seeking redress in a matter
that has kept her out of office for almost four years. Achimo cites malice and
irregularities in the case, where she was prosecuted in the Anti-Corruption
Court in 2019 for abuse of office and diversion of public funds.
troubles started after an internal audit at the
university revealed misuse of one billion Shillings in 2018. The said money was
reportedly mismanaged in double payments to lawyers, contractors, and university
secretary in court damages.
As a result, Achimo and four other university officials
were arrested and arraigned in court. They included the Assistant Estates’
Officer, David Omeke, the Internal Auditor, James Odongo, the Acting Bursar,
Gilbert Otim, and the Acting University Secretary, Samuel Omoding. But in her letter to the Anti-Corruption Unit,
Achimo says that there has been selective prosecution and management of the
university staff by the Directorate of Public Prosecution- DPP.
“Four staff members who were arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court, Kampala, pleaded guilty to abuse of office, causing financial
loss, and conspiracy to defraud and had their cases dropped by DPP. Ref:
Criminal Case No. 149/2019 Uganda Vs Omeke David, Odongo James, Otim Gilbert,
and Omoding Samuel. One staff member, who stole and sold a bull, which
belonged to the University has never been prosecuted”, she notes in her May 16th,
According to Achimo, the Chairperson Soroti
University Council should not have requested the Audits without the
knowledge of other Council Members since he did not have the legal mandate to
do so. She notes that the Audit Reports were irregularly procured with the
existence of premeditated malice toward her office.
She adds that she was the only one faulted, despite not being
a member of the Contracts Committee for signing the Service Legal Agreement for
M/S Okurut & Co Advocates. She, however, notes that much as the
charges against her were withdrawn, she has not been reinstated to her office.
“The withdrawal of the charges was concealed from the
Court and my Lawyers for unknown reasons. My lawyers petitioned DPP on the same
but no action was taken by DPP. However, my Private Investigator has now
established that the Withdrawal still stands and is reflected in DPP’s
system. In the same breath failure to tender the Withdrawal of Charges
should be taken as malice against me”, Achimo concludes in her letter before
asking the unit to intervene.
When contacted by our reporter on phone, Achimo
said that she has not received any feedback from the unit regarding her
complaint of malicious prosecution. She added that under the Public Service
Standing Orders 2010 Section (f) to (s), and 8 (a - b), an interdiction is not
required to exceed six months before the decision is reached.
According to Achimo, the process of her
prosecution in 2019 was inspired by malice, procedural irregularities, and
illegalities. When contacted, Owen Achunwire, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit Spokesperson said that the unit doesn’t discuss details of the
case reported until a decision has been made on the same.
Bureau Chief, Soroti
Living the Pen