13 November 2012

Uganda: Mukula to Defend Himself in Court Today

Ex-Deputy Health Minister without portfolio George Michael Mukula is to appear before court to start his defence in a case where he is accused of embezzling Shs210 million from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation account.

The Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala ruled that Mukula, has a case to answer in connection to the Shs263m he received from the Gavi fund account for purposes of advocacy in the office of the First Lady Janet Museveni.

Court presided over by Chief Magistrate Irene Akankwasa, held that Capt. Mukula had accounted for only Shs53 million out of the Shs263 million he allegedly received and that he should explain the whereabouts of Shs 210 million.

The Soroti Municipality MP is the only suspect left in this case. His three co-accused, Maj. Gen Jim Muhwezi Katugugu, (former health minister) also MP for Rujumbura County in Rukungiri, Dr Alex Kamugisha,(former junior health minister) and Ms Alice Kaboyo, (former Private Secretary at State House Nakasero in charge of Political Affairs and Seminars ) were cleared by the court in July this year due to lack of evidence.

They were accused of misappropriating Shs1.6 billion meant for immunisation.

Mukula now faces only one charge of embezzlement since that of abuse of office, for which he was jointly facing with his co-accused, was dropped in July due to insufficient evidence. If Mukula is convicted, he is likely to face a jail term of up to 14 years.

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