Jinja Municipal Council Officials Charged With Causing Financial Loss

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  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.

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