Three More MPs, Lawyer Remanded to Luzira Prison Over Shs7.3 Billion Theft

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Three Members of Parliament and two others were remanded to Luzira prison by the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala on charges of diverting public resources.

Igara East MP Michael Mawanda, Elgon County MP Mudimi Wamakuyu, and Busiki County MP Paul Akamba are accused of conspiring to defraud the government of more than 7.3 billion shillings intended for the Buyaka Growers Cooperative Society Limited.

The MPs appeared before Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro, who read out five charges against them from the Penal Code Act and the Anti-Corruption Act of 2009.

They are accused of conspiring with Leonard Kavundira, Principal Cooperative Officer in the Ministry of Trade, and city lawyer Julius Kirya Taitankoko. However, Kavundira was not in court when the charges were read and has been issued a criminal summons to appear on Monday, June 24, 2024.

The prosecution alleges that Mawanda diverted 1.5 billion shillings in October 2021, Wamakuyu diverted 2.3 billion shillings, Akamba diverted 200 million shillings, and Kirya diverted 2.2 billion shillings.

The suspects also allegedly conspired to defraud an additional 3.4 billion shillings meant for the Buyaka Cooperative Society in Bulambuli District.

All accused persons denied the charges, which were sanctioned by Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo. The prosecution, led by Raymond Mugisa, Jonathan Muwaganya, and Edward Muhumuza, informed the court that investigations were complete and requested a hearing date to commence the trial.

The defence lawyers, including former Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, were not ready to apply for bail, citing their clients’ incommunicado detention. The court remanded the accused to Luzira Prison until July 9, 2024.

The State House Anti-Corruption Unit, led by Brigadier General Henry Isoke, is conducting the investigations. Proceedings were marked by heavy security deployment and the presence of hundreds of Patriotic League of Uganda supporters, led by PLU Secretary General David Kabanda, who camped outside the court premises but were not allowed entry.

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