Prison Officials Decry Congestion

Anti Corruption Court Grade One Magistrate Julius Borore has adjourned the hearing of the case in which six people including former Works and Transport Minister Abraham Byandala is accused of abuse of office and mishandling of funds in the construction of Mukono-Katosi.

The matter was postponed to November 23 after State Prosecutor Thomas Okoth told court on Monday that they had obtained fresh evidence pinning the suspects in the fraudulent Shs 165bn procurement of shadowy company, capsule Eutaw to tarmac the road.

“My Lord we are not ready to proceed in this matter. We received crucial evidence with a serious bearing for this case and hereby pray for an adjournment of three weeks to finalize our investigations, visit web ” submitted Okoth.

Header advertisement

Defence lawyer, thumb Nsubuga Mubiru expressed worries over the slow pace in hearing and disposing off the case.

“It’s unfair for the state to delay the committal of this case to high court yet they exhibited too much speed in arresting our clients,” said Mubiru.

Borore granted prosecution’s request.

The accused deny all the charges leveled against them by the state.


Byandala (R) arrives for the hearing of his case

Byandala (R) arrives for the hearing of his case

Abuse of office

Byandala and senior UNRA officials were early his year charged with 24 offences of fraud, corruption, abuse of office and influence peddling among others in the Shs 24bn Kyetume-Katosi road scam.

Byandala and interdicted UNRA officials – Eng. Berunado Ssebbugga (Executive Director), Joe Ssemugooma (Acting Director Finance and Administration), Apollo Senkeeto (businessman) and Isaac Mugote (former banker, Housing Finance Bank) have been appearing before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo since July.

According to prosecution, the suspects abused their respective offices leading to loss of the tax payers’ money totalling to Shs 24bn.

Eng. Byandala as Minister of Works and Transport is said to have arbitrarily directed the immediate signing of a contract between government and Eutaw for the upgrading of the Kyetume- Katosi road, facilitating payment of Shs24bn to a company that lacked the capacity to perform the contract, which act was prejudicial to the interests of government.

Ssenkeeto (L) accompanied by his wife to the court premises in Kololo, Kampala

Ssenkeeto (L) accompanied by his wife to the court premises in Kololo, Kampala

The former Works Minister is also charged with influencing and  arbitrarily ordering the continuation of works on the road by CICO, after the said Chinese company entered into an agreement with Eutaw yet the latter  had breached its contract with UNRA  and the IGG had halted the works.

According to the charge sheet, former UNRA Executive Director Eng. Ssebbugga Kimeze is charged among others with awarding the contract to Eutaw without complying with provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority Act contrary to his responsibilities as an accounting officer.

The State contends that between July and November 2013, while in performance of his duties as legal counsel to UNRA and in abuse of the authority of his office, Marvin Baryaruha arbitrarily misadvised UNRA during the procurement under ref. no. UNRA/Works/2009-10/00001/18/06 which led to the signing of the contract between UNRA and Eutaw for the Katosi road “without completing due diligence and so facilitated the payment of Shs 24bn to Eutaw.

Court also heard that Apollo Ssenkeeto alias Mark Kalyesubura between November and December 2013 “knowingly and fraudulently uttered false Housing Finance Bank Ltd advance payment security number 00APS047/2013 of Shs 24bn to UNRA purporting that the security document had been issued to Eutaw for the execution of the contract number 799/MKKKKN/WK/UPD for upgrading of Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi road whereas not.”
Prisons in parts of the country over the weekend marked the World Prisons Day amidst calls for decongestion and proper health conditions for inmates.

In western Uganda, ambulance The prisoners in Mbarara District marked the day with a general cleaning exercise at the Mbarara Referral Hospital in Mbarara Municipality.

During the exercise, Regional Prisons Officer (RPC) Ebong Ochoa Tobios advocated for emphasis on litigation rather than mitigation [Where offenders are tried more in community courts rather than the court system].

Regional Prisons Officer (RPC) Ebong Ochoa Tobios says it is becoming more expensive to cope with the rising number of inmates

Regional Prisons Officer (RPC) Ebong Ochoa Tobios says it is becoming more expensive to cope with the rising number of inmates

With the growing number inmates against the static prison space, Ebong observed that it was becoming more and more expensive to run prisons in the country.

“As of now we are spending about Shs 9000 a day on every prisoner, which is a lot of money that could be used for other very important projects if we had fewer inmates,” he said.

With the rising number of capital offenders, the RPC underscored the need for petty crimes to be addressed and resolved out of the court system.



Header advertisement

Header advertisement
To Top