Courts Sets Chogm Ministers Free

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In short
The Anti Corruption Court has acquitted and discharged three ministers who had been accused of abuse of office and causing government a financial loss of 14 billion shillings ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meting (Chogm).

The Anti Corruption Court has acquitted and discharged three ministers who had been accused of abuse of office and causing government a financial loss of 14 billion shillings ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meting (Chogm).

The Court says the prosecution had failed to make its case against the ministers.

The ministers acquitted by the head of the court Justice Paul Mugamba  include; Sam Kutesa for Foreign Affairs, Eng. John Nasasira for Gender and Mwesigwa Rukutana, the State Minister Labour.

While acquitting the trio on the charge of abuse of office, Justice Mugamba noted that no evidence had been laid by the prosecution to show that the ministers irregularly convened a consultative meeting to commit government to fund the total construction cost of drive ways, parking yard and marina at Speke Resort Munyonyo, as alleged.

The judge noted that no evidence had been assembled by the prosecution to show that government incurred any loses and that the accused ministers committed the government to fund the construction of the walk ways, parking yard and the marina.

Justice Mugamba also warned that it has lately become fashionable to bring what he called ‘weak’ cases before court for which they can’t secure a conviction, a move he said is a waste of time and resources among others.

In victorious mood, Minister Kutesa said that truth had triumphed over lies and intrigue. 

His counterpart Minster Nasasira said these were just framed up charges against them by the then Inspector General of Government Raphael Baku.

Public prosecutor Sydney Asubo who had been prosecuting the case said a decision is going to be taken internally on the way forward.

Prosecution had alleged that the ministers while performing their duties, in abuse of authority, irregularly convened a consultative cabinet meeting on behalf of the cabinet subcommittee of Chogm and decided that the government would fully fund the construction of the drive ways, parking areas and marina at Speke Resort Munyonyo hotel, which decision caused the government a loss of 14 billion shillings.

Munyonyo, owned by city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, was among the hotels to accommodate the visiting Presidents and heads of government who were to attend the Chogm summit.