Supreme court upholds former Ministry of Local Govt PS Kashaka’s conviction

The Supreme Court has upheld the 10 year custodial sentence that was handed over to John Muhanguzi Kashaka the former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local Government and refund 4.2 billion shillings stolen money .The court also confirmed banned Kashaka from holding public offices for a period of 10 years as earlier upheld by Court of Appeal.

In 2014, Anti Corruption High court Judge Catherine Bamugemereire convicted Muhanguzi and five others as a result of causing financial loss to the government when they failed to procure 70,000 bicycles which were meant for LC.1 and parish Chairpersons.

In their judgment the five justices of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo ,“We therefore find this claim of shifting responsibility for the loss to Bank of Uganda, diversionary, unsupported by law or without a single iota of merit. The existence of the discrepancies is well documented and admitted by all the parties.”

The justices therefore agreed that the party responsible for clarifying or clearing the discrepancies was the Ministry of Local Government and Kashaka being the Accounting Officer, definitely bears the primary responsibility for the contract.

“It is indeed him and the Principal Accountant, who,according to PEX 26(2), waived the requirements and discrepancies cited by the Bank, which led to the payment of the 40% of the value of the Letters of Credit.”

On the ground, where Bamutura through his counsel challenged being awarded both compensatory and custodial sentence at once, court ruled that the lawyer failed to convince court that it was done illegally.

The justices also pointed out section 126 of Trial and Indictment Act which provides for compensation orders in addition to a custodial sentence.

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