Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former Deputy Academic Registrar in Charge of Certificates, Ceremonies, and Publications, Margret Etuusa was involved in soliciting money from parents, students and guests during the 2017 graduation, the Anti-Corruption court heard on Thursday.
The former Makerere University chief security officer, Jackson Mucunguzi said this while testifying in the case in which Etuusa is standing trial on four counts of abuse of office relating to flouting public procurement laws, regulations, and procedures.
The charges stem from the irregular procurement of private companies to provide services during the 67th graduation ceremony in February 2017. Outstanding was the contract awarded to Exxon Contractors Limited to handle and keep phones and other gadgets during the 67th graduation ceremony.
Parents, students and other guests had to part with between Shillings 3,000 and 5,000 for the company to keep their gadgets that were not allowed at the graduation venue.
In his testimony, Mucunguzi, who is currently in charge of Curriculum Development at police headquarters noted that although mobile phones and cameras had been banned from the ceremony and the invited guests notified, when many showed up, he realized that there was an individual who was soliciting money so as to keep the gadgets.
“There was chaos at the entrance and I went there to clear the mess. When I reached the scene, there was a young man called Yasin who was enticing graduands and other guests to keep their phones. I tried to chase him from the place but he insisted saying that he had been contracted to do so,” Mucunguzi told the court.
Mucunguzi explained that he took the initiative to confirm the development since the matter hadn’t been discussed in the previous ceremonies committee meeting. “The said contract had the accused’s signature and when I called her to confirm whether it was genuine she replied in the affirmative. I left the contractor to go on with his business after all he was outside the checkpoint,” he said.
Mucunguzi was the last prosecution witness. Justice Margaret Tibulya has now set August 20th for the prosecution and defense to submit their closing arguments before she delivers her ruling. In June this year, High Court lifted Etuusa’ suspension as Makerere University Deputy Academic Registrar in Charge of Certificates, Ceremonies, and Publications and ordered her immediate reinstatement.
Court also awarded Etuusa Shillings 350 million for unfair dismissal from office.