The Anti Corruption Court in Kampala has remanded three Members of Parliament to Luzira Prison on charges of corruption for soliciting money from the Uganda Human Rights Commission in order to increase  its budget.

The MPs are: 

Yusuf Mutembuli MP for Bunyole East Constituency in Butaleja District, Resident of Bweyogerere Kirinya in Kira Municipality Wakiso District, Paul Akamba MP for Busiki Constituency in Namutumba District resident of Kyanja Balagade Rise Nakawa Division and Cissy Namujju Dionizia Lwengo District Woman MP resident of Nambu Village, Kigo Wakiso District.

The Legislators who spent two days in Police custody before they could be produced in Court were on Wednesday afternoon, were arraigned before a fully packed courtroom presided over by the Chief Magistrate Joan Aciro and charged with one count of corruption.

The Prosecution alleges that MPs  Mutembule, Akamba and Namujju on May 13th 2024 at Hotel Africana in Kampala solicited from Mariam Wangadya the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission an undue advantage of 20 percent  of  the anticipated Budget of the UHRC for the Financial Year 2024/2025. This was reportedly done by asserting that the MPs  were able to exert improper influence over the decision making of the Budget Committee of the Parliament of Uganda to increase UHRC budget, in consideration of the said undue advantage.

The three MPs have  however denied the charges  levelled against them and applied  for bail through their respective lawyers led by Asuman Basalirwa.

The Prosecution led by State Attorney Nicholas Kawooya informed the Court that investigations into this case are still ongoing and prayed for an adjournment.

MP Namujju has presented  Muhammad Ssentayi, the Bukoto West MP,  Hajji Hassan  Bulwadda, owner of Bulwadda Clinics located at Buwada Mall Gayaza Road who is her business partner and longtime friend and Ssemmwanga Gyavira MP for Buyamba County in Rakai as her sureties.

She also deposited her passport with Court. 

Akamba has presented  Mariam Naigaga the Namutumba district woman, MP Robert Kasolo of the Iki Iki Constituency and MP Henry Kibarya Mourice as his sureties.

Mutembuli on the other hand has presented  Namukose Minsa Kirya, a community development officer in Mukono who is his sister as his sureties.

The lawyers for the accused persons  told court that the offenses are not grave in nature and even if they are convicted, court can jail them for ten years or be ordered to pay currency points. 

On their part, the Prosecution asked Court for more time to verify the documents presented by the sureties like identification cards and Local Council One  letters from the Chairpersons.

According to Prosecutor Kawoya, they also want to verify the LC1 letters presented by all the accused persons and he says, this requires more time.

The gravity of the offense they are  charged with, whether the suspects have places of residence in the court’s jurisdiction, are some of the issues the Prosecutor wants the Magistrate to look into before granting  bail.  This plus the fact that the accused are MPs which makes it a matter of public interest. 

The accused persons will return to Court on Friday for ruling on their bail application. The Magistrate said it was late for her to write her decision.

Trouble for the accused persons started last week after President of Uganda General Yoweri Kaguta  Museveni held the State of the Nation Address where he disclosed that he has  overwhelming evidence on the corrupt  public officials. 

Museveni said MPs allegedly collude with accounting officers,  Ministry of Finance and Bank of Uganda  to make allocations of Public resources in exchange for kickbacks (bribes) and promised to crush them.

Museveni revealed that the facts before him confirmed long standing rumours he had of corruption at the heart of government especially during annual appropriation of tax payers’ money. 

He floated an idea of possible Amnesty to the corrupt MPS but majority of the legislators interrupted his speech in disagreement. 

The accused persons will return to Court on Friday June 14th 2024  for ruling on their respective bail application. The Magistrate said it was late for her to write her decision.

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