IGG WITHDRAWS CHARGES AGAINST PROF BUKENYA
Charges of abuse of office against Former Vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya have been dropped by the IGG. Photo by Isaac Kasamani
By Ephraim Kasozi
Posted Friday, November 4 2011 at 12:20
The Inspector General of Government has withdrawn charges of abuse of office against Former Vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya in connection with the award of Shs9.4 billion contract to supply the 204 executive vehicles for the Commonwealth summit held in Kampala four years ago.
IGG Spokesperson Ms Ali Munira confirmed the development.
The IGG decision comes hardly two days to the commencement of the trial before High Court, Anti-Corruption Division. Justice Catherine Bamugemereirwe had set November 7 to 11 this year for the trial of the Ex-VP.
Prosecution led by the Head of Legal Affairs, Mr Sydney Asubo at the Inspectorate of Government had earlier revealed that 17 witnesses would testify against the Ex-Vice president.
Prof. Bukenya represented by attorneys; MacDusman Kabega and Enos Tumusiime appeared before the court for the pretrial.
Prof. Bukenya has also been endorsed by the NRM party as its flagbearer for the Busiro North by-elections.
BUKENYA DEMANDS 2006/2007 CABINET MINUTES
Anne Mugisa and Hillary Nsambu
5 July 2011
LAWYERS representing former Vice-President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, have demanded for minutes of eight Cabinet sub-committee meetings on CHOGM from 2006 to 2007 before his constitutional petition can proceed.
They also demanded for a letter written by Hilda Musubira, the Public Service Permanent Secretary, to President Yoweri Museveni on the committee meetings on CHOGM.
Musubira was the executive director of the CHOGM secretariat.
Bukenya is facing charges of alleged abuse of office and fraudulent practice during the CHOGM vehicle and motorcycle procurement.
He was represented by Ben Wacha and MacDosman Kabega.
The minutes that the lawyers are demanding for include those of the 15th Cabinet sub-committee for CHOGM meeting held on December 4, 2006, another in May 2007, another of February 12, 2007 and the 28th Cabinet sub-committee meeting held in 2007.
Others are minutes of the same committee meetings held on November 20, 2007, July 11, 2007 and October 28, 2006.
His lawyers also amended Bukenya's constitutional petition in a bid to block the acting Inspector General of Government (IGG), Raphael Baku, from prosecuting Bukenya.
They argued that Baku had no legal stand to investigate and prosecute Bukenya since he occupies a non-existent office.
The lawyers insist that the Constitution only provides for the office of the IGG and deputy IGG, but not the acting IGG.
"He, therefore, cannot purport to investigate and sign a report as acting IGG and then charge someone in that capacity," the lawyers said.
Their second amendment is that Baku is practicing selective prosecution, which is contrary to the constitutional provisions which outlaw discrimination.
According to the lawyers there were other ministers with whom Bukenya held meetings regarding CHOGM procurements and so each one of them must be held responsible for those decisions.
Bukenya attended court together with several of his supporters.
Principal State Attorney Henry Oluka, who led the Attorney General's team, asked for an adjournment to allow the Attorney General study the amended petition and respond to it.
The court granted him the adjournment until Tuesday when the petition is expected to start.
Oluka also argued that the minutes are confidential and are, therefore, subject to the rule of confidentiality.
He said he could not commit himself to produce the documents as there are procedures through which they should be produced in court.
The court, led by Deputy Chief Justice Alice Mpagi-Bahigeine, however, did not rule on that.