By Julius Odeke
The flamboyant Soroti Municipality MP Mike Mukula has applied for bail pending appeal against a four-year jail sentence handed to him for embezzling Shs210 million.
Through his legal team headed by Fred Muwema, he said they have already filed the notice of appeal before court pending the bail application adding that they have as well received instructions to review the law regarding loss of the parliamentary seat upon conviction of a legislator so that we can take appropriate action.
On Friday last week, the Anti-Corruption Division of the Magistrates Court found the former junior Health minister without portfolio guilty, a ruling he contests as being politically-motivated, partly because his co-accused were exonerated.
There have been some public claims that the former minister is a victim of selective prosecution, although the MP is not being absolved of his crime. Mukula was convicted in the Shs1.6 billion GAVI theft case after his co-accused; Mr Jim Muhwezi (former Health minister), Dr Alex Kamugisha (former junior Health minister) and Ms Alice Kaboyo (former private secretary in-charge of Political Affairs at State House) were cleared last year.
However, Kaboyo was ordered to pay Shs20 million as a fine after she pleaded guilty.
In a related development, people in Teso sub region where Mukula hails from are planning to demonstrate over the selective justice the government has shown by only convicting Mukula.
Peter Lochom, the chairperson of the Etem Itei Iteso Association, said burning the party cards was a deliberate message to the President that what government has done is wrong.
“We are receiving stray messages and calls threatening to arrest us”, Lochom said, adding that regardless of the intimidation, they would not give up. This comes in the wake of heavy military deployment in Soroti.
However, Mideast Police Spokesperson Juma Hassan Nyene said the demonstrations were unwarranted and denied claims that the heavily deployed security was targeting civilians.