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EXCLUSIVE: How remanded MPs pressured Wangadya for Shs17bn kickback from UHRC Budget

Detained MPs; Yusuf Mutembuli (Bunyole East), Ms Cissy Namujju (Lwengo Woman MP) and Paul Akamba (Busiki constituency)

Kampala, (UG):- The latest information availed to DailyExpress indicates that the three Members of Parliament, currently remanded to Luzira over corruption, allegedly solicited 20% to influence the passing of the Uganda Human Rights Commission’s enhanced budget for the 2024/25 Financial Year.

The legislators; Yusuf Mutembuli (Bunyole East), Paul Akamba (Busiki Constituency), and Lwengo District Woman MP Cissy Dionizia Namujju on Wednesday afternoon appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo where the Chief Magistrate Ms Joan Aciro formally charged them and sent them to Luzira until Friday, June 14, 2024.

The charge sheet brought forward by state prosecution indicates that the MPs face a lone charge of corruption in which they allegedly solicited 20% of the Uganda Human Rights Commission’s enhanced budget.

Prosecution led by State Attorney Nicholas Kawooya told court that the MPs; Mutembule, Akamba and Namujju solicited from Mariam Wangadya the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission an undue advantage of 20 per cent of the anticipated Budget of the UHRC for the Financial Year 2024/2025.

“On the 13th day of May 2024 at Hotel Africana in Kampala City, solicited from Mariam Wangadya. the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), an undue advantage of 20% of the anticipated enhanced Budget of the UHRC for the Financial Year 2024 2026, by asserting that they were able to exert improper influence over the decision-making of the Budget Committee of the Parliament of Uganda to increase the UHRC Budget, in consideration of the said undue advantage,” reads in part the charge sheet, copy of which this publication got.

The Charge Sheet

DailyExpress further understands during the Hotel Africana meeting last month, the lawmakers were purposely recorded and the tape was delivered to President Museveni.

It is against the recording and further evidence that prompted the President to spit venom against corrupt MPs at parliament during the State of the Nation Address.

The President specifically noted that there is proof against the corrupt government officials and promised action against MPs and Ministry of Finance officials whom he said were involved in budget corruption.

“I have been hearing that from the Ministry of Finance, they collude with the accounting officers of ministries to come to Parliament working with some people there (Parliament) to provide certain funds, provided you take a share. I didn’t believe this but now I have proof,” the President said on Thursday, promising to crack the whip against those implicated.

Following the President’s speech, DailyExpress on Sunday evening broke the story after the Police CID had issued summons against the trio and other staff at Parliament and by Monday evening, June 10, the MPs were transferred from the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) headquarters in Kibuli, where they were interrogated for a full day, to Kira Division police for detention.

On Tuesday, June 11, the police mounted a house search at their homes on Entebbe Road, Mukono and Naalya respectively to collect thorough evidence that implicates them for being corrupt officials. During the search at Namujju’s mansion in Kigo, Entebbe Road, it is alleged that police recovered cash amounting to Shs One Billion (1,000,000 UGX).

After the charges against the MPs were endorsed by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Jane Frances Abodo, the trio on Wednesday appeared before court and were formally charged with corruption.

In court, Yusuf Mutembuli (Bunyole East) was represented by Counsel Asuman Basalirwa while Counsel Richard Lugambwa represented Akamba and Namujju was represented by lawyers Caleb Mwesigwa, Hellen Akankwasa and counsel Kandeebe Ntambirweki.

The MPs’ lawyers pleaded to court for bail on grounds that the accused had fixed places of abode and credible sureties to guarantee their reappearance in court but State Attorney Kawooya investigations into this case are still ongoing and prayed for an adjournment.

Namujju presented Muhammad Ssentayi, the Bukoto West MP, Hajji Hassan Bulwadda, owner of Bulwadda Clinics located at Buwada Mall Gayaza Road who is her business partner and longtime friend and Ssemmwanga Gyavira MP for Buyamba County in Rakai as her sureties. She also deposited her passport with the Court.

Akamba presented Mariam Naigaga the Namutumba district woman, MP Robert Kasolo of the Iki Iki Constituency and MP Henry Maurice Kibalya of Bugabula as his sureties, while Mutembuli presented Namukose Minsa Kirya, a community development officer in Mukono who is his sister as his sureties.

Prosecution asked Court for more time to verify the documents presented by the sureties like identification cards and LC1 letters from their area chairpersons.

The gravity of the offence they are charged with, whether the suspects have places of residence in the court’s jurisdiction, are some of the issues the Prosecutor wants the Magistrate to look into before granting bail. This plus the fact that the accused are MPs making it a matter of public interest.

The trio will now look up to Friday, June 14, when they will return to Court for ruling on their respective bail application as Magistrate Acilo said it was late for her to write her decision.

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