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Equal opportunities commission officials charged for stealing government funds

Equal Opportunities Commission officials. PHOTO via @AntiGraft_SH

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Nine officials of the Equal Opportunities Commission have been charged with 21 offences of abuse of office, causing financial loss, and embezzlement of funds, among others.

The suspects; Agnes Enid Kamahoro, Moses Mugabe, Mpitsi Mujuni Ronnie Kwesiga, Manasseh Kwihangana, Harriet Byangire, Evans Jjemba, Sarah Nassanga and Olwor Sunday Nicholas appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala this afternoon.

Each of them is separately charged for offences related to the theft of funds that were earmarked for sensitization on equity and rights issues in lower local governments in Karamoja region.

The prosecution also alleges that the suspects stole money in the range of 5 to 29 million Shillings which they accessed by the virtue of the offices they held. The said money was obtained between January and December 2018, as per diem for editing and drafting Equal Opportunities Commission HIV/AIDS workplace Policy, yet none of the officials was entitled to it.

The per diem had reportedly been acquired by Kamahoro, the Prime Suspect and later approved irregularly by Mujuni, the Secretary to the Commission, an act which caused financial loss to the government.

Five of the suspects, who were in court today, pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for bail. Their sureties included their spouses and former workmates.

Grade one Magistrate Abert Asiimwe granted them bail, with a deposit of 4 million Shillings each, for Kamahoro and Mujuni, and 2.5 million Shillings for each of the other suspects. The court also asked their sureties to execute a non-cash bond of 30 million Shillings. The sureties will also deposit their passports with the court.

The case will now return to court on August 26, 2019.

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