Thursday, December 15, 2011
WHETHER BUKENYA IS CLEARED, UGANDANS WANT CHOGM FUNDS EMBEZZLED REFUNDED
Prof. Gilbert Bukenya talking to journalists soon after he was acquitted of all charges at the Anti-Corruption Court. PHOTO BY ISAAC KASAMANI
By ANTHONY WESAKA
Posted Thursday, December 15 2011 at 10:53
Former Uganda Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya was Thursday morning acquitted of all Chogm related charges that he has been battling for the last five months.
This follows a brief ruling of ‘no case to answer’ by the head of the Anti-Corruption Court Paul Mugamba, saying there was no sufficient evidence adduced by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) requiring him to put up a defense.
Also acquitted were the two directors of Motorcare Per Lundgren and Klaus Karstensen, his then co-accused.
“No evidence was adduced to this effect. I find no prima facie case and I acquit the accused,” held Judge Mugamba.
The judge acquitted Prof. Bukenya on charges of abuse of office and fraudulent practice while the two directors of Motorcare were acquitted of fraudulent practice, the only charge they were facing.
“No evidence was laid to show that A1 (Prof. Bukenya) connived with A2 (Motorcare directors), and I acquit A1 and A2 on charges of fraudulent practice,” held the judge. The judge made his ruling of ‘no case to answer’ basing on the evidence of four prosecution witnesses, including the permanent secretary Ministry of Works and Transport, Charles Muganzi.
Bukenya never influenced awarding of contract to Motorcare- PS Muganzi
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Works PS takes blame for Motorcare contract
Motorcare directors charged over Chogm cars, bikes
Prosecution led by the Sydney Asubo alleged that Prof. Bukenya connived and or colluded with Motorcare and high handedly, directed the award of contract to them to supply of 80 units of BMW R 1200 RT police outrider motorcycles intended for use during Chogm, 2007, without following procurement rules.
Shortly after the ruling, in victory, Prof. Bukenya vowed to wage an anti-corruption war on all those implicated.
“ I was a criminal, a thief, but today, am a free “ said Prof. Bukenya adding “ am going to declare war on all those implicated in corruption and the IGG should hastily bring others and also go through all this I have gone through. I even slept in Luzira for eight days.”
Prof. Bukenya in excitement, went on hugging everyone who wanted his hug. On being asked on whether he will sue the IGG for damages, Prof. Bukenya who was in a jolly mood said: “that is not for you.”
Also present at court was his wife Dr Margaret Bukenya.
Mr Per Lundgren, one of the Motorcare directors cleared, welcome the acquittal saying it was a relief for them to now concentrate on their business in Uganda.
“With this ruling in our favor, we can start concentrating on our business,” Mr Lundgren said.
During last week’s submissions of ‘no case to answer’ Prof. Bukenya’s lawyer MacDosman Kabega argued that the two key prosecution witnesses (Charles Muganzi, the permanent secretary Ministry of works and Transport and his Chief Eng. William George Okurut) in their evidence, exonerate Prof. Bukenya when they testified that the latter never directed the award to Motorcare.
The lawyers of Motorcare led by Edmond Wakida associated themselves with the submissions of lawyer Kabega, argued that prosecution had failed to prove with whom Motorcare connived with in order to get the supply contract, before asking court to acquit them.