Kampala, (UG): The Anti Corruption Court in Kampala has charged Jofram Waidhuuba a retired Civil Servant with abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud Jinja Municipal Council of its land.
Waidhuuba was arraigned before the Grade One Magistrate Esther Asiimwe on Friday and charged with two counts.
The court heard that during the year 2018 when Waidhuuba was employed at Jinja Municipal Council as a Deputy Clerk, he irregularly signed and issued Transfer Forms in Favour of God Will Agencies Limited to transfer the land comprised in FRV JJA 453 Folio 6 Plot M23 Aniyali Amanyi Road Masese II, III which was the property of his employer, the council.
According to the prosecution, Waidhuuba abused the authority of his office and did arbitrary acts prejudicial to the interests of his employer. He is also accused of conspiring with Isaac Tusiime the Director of M/S God Will Agencies Limited who is still at large to defraud Jinja Municipal Council.
Prosecution led by State Attorney Gloria Inzikuru has informed the Court that investigations are complete but his co-accused has not yet been arrested and prayed for criminal summons to be issued against him.
Waidhuuba denied the charges and asked to be released on bail. Through his lawyers led by Gerald Batanda, he said the court has the jurisdiction to hear the charges which have been levied against their client. He said the accused has the right to apply for bail and the court has discretion to grant the same.
The court heard that Waidhuuba is of advanced age (63) and has a fixed place of residence within the jurisdiction of the Anti-Corruption Court in Jinja.
Waidhuuba presented his wife Juliet Waidhuba, his son James Lwangwa Senior Technical Auditor in Uganda National Roads Authority -UNRA and his daughter in law Juliet Babita a Personal Banker with Centenary Bank as his sureties.
Batanda has presented a recommendation letter from Waidhuuba’s personal doctor from Kampala Hospital who says he needs to stay home for his medical monitoring since he is sickly. He has asked the Court to release his client on reasonable terms bearing in mind the harsh economic conditions saying everyone is reportedly affected in the country.
However, the prosecution has objected to bail on grounds that the rules governing Anti Corruption Court require sureties to show the financial capacity to meet bail terms.
Inzikuru said Waidhuuba ‘s wife is a housewife and hasn’t proved anything that she will forfeit in the case the accused absconds from the trial. She told the Magistrate that besides presenting only their identity cards, the sureties had not presented any evidence to show that they could meet the bail terms of the court.
“The sureties, a wife, a son, daughter in law, it is common knowledge in African tradition that a man will hardly listen to his wife, not even his son and daughter. It’s therefore our submission that these three sureties are unable to bring the accused person in court in the event that he chooses not to attend”, said the Prosecutor while objecting to his bail.
The court further heard that the medical letters do not show that the prison cannot handle Waidhuuba ‘s condition in case he is remanded.
Inzikuru said should the court be pleased to grant him bail, it should order him to deposit some security and stringent terms be imposed on him.
In her ruling, Asiimwe granted Waidhuuba bail of 3 million Shillings cash, and each surety 25 million shillings, not cash.
She found the wife and son to be more substantial and disqualified the daughter-in-law.
Asiimwe adjourned the case to November 30th 2023. She also issued a criminal summons requiring businessman Isaac Tusiime to appear on that day and take a plea.
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