The Independent (Kampala)

18 January 2013

Uganda: Former Health Minister Sentenced to Four Years

The Anti Corruption Court finally sentenced the last suspect, Mike Mukula, the former minister of health in charge of general duties to four years in jail for embezzling up to Ushs 210m of the GAVI Global Fund.

The money which was originally supposed to be in the region of Shs 263m was meant to fund youth and women advocacy conferences by the office of the First Lady, Janet Museveni but the latter office only received Ushs 53m.

Although the said money which was taken in February 2005 was eventually refunded from Oct. 31, 2005 to May 5. 2006, prosecution found Mukula guilty of having embezzled the money by virtue of the fact that he authorized the withdrawal of the money by signing for it.

Justice Irene Akankwasa agreed with the defense counsel that Mukula is a first time offender but she did not agree that Mukula should be served with a minimum sentence.

She therefore sentenced Mukula to four years in prison--a sentence she called lenient-- and she advised the aggrieved party to appeal if they so deemed it fit.

Addressing the press shortly after his sentence, Mukula who is also the Soroti Municipality Member of Parliament and Chairperson for Eastern Uganda in the ruling NRM Party told journalists that the trial was politically motivated, further noting that this was a clear case of selective judgment.

"It is very clear that this is selective judgment... Mandela was in prison for 27 years and he came out. I shall go to Luziira for four years and come out," Mukula said as his wife wept uncontrollably, insisting that her husband was innocent and did not steal the Ushs 210m.

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