Saturday, November 17, 2012
I AM AN ADVOCATE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE. I FEAR, WHAT IF MUKULA IS CONVICTED?
Behind the scenes of Mukula’s Gavi cash probe By ANTHONY WESAKA Posted Saturday, November 17 2012 at 02:14 This week saw former health minister Mike Mukula taking to the dock to put his spirited defence by denying to have ‘ever touched, seen or even smelt’ the Shs210 million meant for the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation. During the defence and the final submissions, pertinent issues came up. State prosecutor Sydney Asubo, asked the court to convict Capt. Mukula, arguing that prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence to prove that he stole Shs210 million from Gavi account. Mr Asubo argued that by posing a question of why only Shs54 million was disbursed to the office of the First Lady and Shs210 million and yet it was supposed to be also sent to the same destination before being kept in a safe and re-banked after eight months. Mukula’s defence In his defence, Capt. Mukula told the court that after a request was made to his office, three vouchers were prepared in amounts of Shs136,890,000, Shs73,146,000 and Shs53,819,000 totaling to Shs263,855,000, which he signed on to facilitate their movement. Capt. Mukula explained that since the money was in three different vouchers with different amounts, the disbursement process to the office of the First Lady was to be done on the basis of one to one not in lump sum. He also explained that after disbursing Shs54 million to the office of the First Lady, the very office took long to account for the money before they could be advanced with funds for the second voucher to carry out their intended advocacy activities. However, the state prosecutor Mr Asubo argues that Mukula’s motive of only disbursing the Shs54 million and keeping the Shs210 million for over eight months, before re-banking it, showed that he had intentions of stealing it, and that indeed he stole it. Mr Asubo explained that Capt. Mukula, only returned the money after hearing of a looming investigation into the same by the Inspectorate of Government. Captain Mukula said he sees a lot of political persecution in the case but was confident that the law would supersede the persecution. Court has set January 18 next year when it will deliver its judgment. Should court find Capt. Mukula guilty of embezzlement, he stands to face up to 14 years in jail. firstname.lastname@example.org