THIS WEEK: Judge denies pension scam convicts bail
Three former officials in the Ministry of Public Service will have to stay longer in prison after Judge Margret Tibulya of the anti-corruption court denied them bail. The trio – Christopher Obey for principal accountant, Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa former Director of Research and Development and Jimmy Lwamafa former permanent secretary are battling charges connected to forgery of a judicial document in order to siphon over Shs15.4 billion pension cash.
The trio had asked for bail basing on the fact that they were of advanced age and of ill health. They also fronted the fact that their co-accused Lawyer Bob Kasango had been granted bail and therefore called for equal treatment. But, Tibulya noted that “facts which might be sufficient in one case, might not be enough to warrant the grant of the bail application in the peculiar context of another matter.
She added in a ruling read by the court registrar that the arguments that were raised by the applicants two years ago are the same ones they advanced, meaning that the prison authorities had satisfactorily handled their health conditions and will continue to do so.
The officials are accused of diverting billions of tax payers money on several occassions between 2011 and 2012 to a law firm – Hall and Partners purporting it to be payment of costs and legal fees in a High court case of 1998. However, fresh trial comes after Lwamafa, Obey and Kunsa testified in their defense against the charges of irregular budgeting of Shs88.2 billion as civil servants’ contributions to National Social Security Fund well knowing that government workers do not make contributions to the fund.