KAMPALA – Court in Nakawa has remanded Internal Affairs Immigration Officer to Kigo Prisons until April 8 over taking a passport bribe worth Shs Three Hundred Fifty thousands shillings (Shs350,000).
Ms Jessica Kalenge, who works at the Internal Affairs Ministry’s headquarters in Kampala, appeared before Nakawa Grade One Magistrate, Me Ponsiano Odwori on Tuesday to be read the charges.
Prosecution alleges that on March 12, while at the Internal Affairs Ministry headquarters in Kampala, Ms Kalenge with intent to steal, demanded Shs350,000 from Mr Yonah Mugoya to help him process his passport faster than normal.
Ms Kalenge allegedly demanded the money when Mr Mugoya called her on phone to find out whether his passport was ready.
However, she reportedly told Mr Mugoya not to bother her if he was not willing to give her Shs300,000 to expedite the process of issuing the passport.
Ms Kalenge pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for bail through her lawyer, Mr Gordon Kifudde.
Her lawyer, Mr Kifudde told the court that the accused has two infant children who need care. He also argued that his client is expectant.
Mr Kifudde also presented the suspect’s husband; Mr Mark Bwire, who is also an employee of the Internal Affairs Ministry, a one of the sureties.
However, prosecution that was led by the Ms Barbara Kyomugisha objected to the bail application on grounds that the suspect is likely to interfere with the ongoing investigations, once released on bail.
A team of detectives from State House Anti-Corruption Unit arrested the accused last week basing on a phone call recording by Mr Mugoya.
According to detectives, they have since received several complaints from other people in eastern Uganda implicating the accused for demanding money to expedite the processing of their passports.
Officially, a passport is supposed to be processed within two weeks but bureaucracy at the ministry makes it almost impossible for the majority of applicants to acquire the travel documents on time.