Ministers' Chogm Case To Be Decided Tomorrow

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In short
The Anti Corruption Court will tomorrow decide the fate of three ministers who are accused of abuse of office and causing government a financial loss of 14 billion shillings.

The Anti Corruption Court will tomorrow decide the fate of three ministers who are accused of abuse of office and causing government a financial loss of 14 billion shillings.

The case against Ministers Sam Kutesa for Foreign Affairs, John Nasasira for Gender and Mwesigwa Rukutana, the state minister for labour, is in relation to the decisions they made ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meting (Chogm).

Trial judge Paul Mugamba will decide whether the trio has a case to answer.The judge will base his ruling on the testimonies of the 11 prosecution witnesses who testified against the ministers in a marathon trial.

Should the Judge in his ruling find that prosecution evidence led by public prosecutor Sydney Asubo is not sufficient enough to warrant the ministers to defend themselves over the allegations, court will accordingly acquit and discharge them.

On the contrary, should Justice Mugamba find that the prosecution evidence is sufficient, the ministers will be asked to explain their side of the story by putting up their defense before court.

A week ago, defense lawyers Didas Nkurunziza, Dr Joseph Kamugisha and Oscar Kambona, asked the court to acquit the ministers; saying the prosecution had failed to prove a case against them.

The lawyers further argued that the witnesses had told court that the December 17 2005 Munyonyo meeting was about brain storming and as such no decision was taken by the suspects by committing the government to fund the walk ways, parking yard and the marina at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

On the contrary, public prosecutor Asubo asked the court to find that the evidence adduced is sufficient enough to warrant the ministers’ explanation of their side by defending themselves.

The prosecution alleges that the ministers while performing their duties, in abuse of authority, irregularly convened a consultative cabinet meeting and decided that the government would fully fund the construction of the drive ways, parking areas and marina at Speke Resort Munyonyo, which decision caused the government a loss of 14 billion shillings.

Munyonyo, owned by city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, was among the hotels that accommodated the visiting Presidents and heads of government who attended the Chogm summit.

The ministers deny the charges.