Deny the corrupt bail – Gen Museveni

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Deny the corrupt bail – Gen Museveni. Whisper Eye News

President Yoweri Museveni has called for the amendment of the Constitution to deny bail to all civil servants battling cases of embezzlement of public funds for at least six months (180 days).

According to Museveni, just like murderers, rapists and terrorists, government officials who embezzle public resources should be added to the list of criminals whose bail should not be granted for a period of 180 days.

“If someone is arrested for embezzlement, they should not be given bail, except if 180 days have passed without him or her being tried,” Museveni said.

The President, who also doubles as the chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), made the remarks on Friday at Kololo Independence Grounds during a meeting with members of the NRM parliamentary caucus.

Museveni implored the NRM legislators to support his proposal and also asked the Attorney General to start on the process.

“Stealing of government money must stop. I have the MPs and the Constitution gives you power to legislate if you have seen a problem where people are stealing government money and are being handled with kid gloves,” Museveni said.

Museveni’s proposal to deny such people bail followed a complaint from Kitgum district Woman MP Lillian Aber, who blamed the failure of some government programmes on corrupt officials.

According to Aber, some civil servants entrusted with public resources to spearhead government programmes, such as wealth creation programmes, misuse public funds at the expense of poor Ugandans.

She, however, pointed out the Judiciary as one of the hindrances in implementation of such proposals, to which Museveni said Parliament can help through legislation to guard against that.

The President accused the Judiciary of abusing their discretion to grant or deny bail, which he said had in a way not helped the situation.

Right to Bail

The right to bail is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 23 (6) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

Its basis is found in Article 28, which states that an accused person is to be presumed innocent until he/she is proved or he/she pleads guilty.

However, Deputy Attorney General, Jackson Kafuuzi, says an exception can be provided for through an amendment.

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