Uganda News

The court will hear 50 criminal appeals in the Shs24 billion Kyetume-Katosi road scam case.

The judges will hear the IGG's appeal against the acquittal of former Minister of Works and Transport, Eng. Abraham Byandala, and three others charged in the Mukono-Katosi road scam during the session.

The Shs24 billion Kyetume-Katosi road scam is one of the cases on the docket as the Court of Appeal begins hearing 50 criminal appeals in three weeks on Thursday.

Richard Buteera, Deputy Chief Justice, and Justices Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki will preside over the session.

The judges will hear the IGG’s appeal against the acquittal of former Minister of Works and Transport, Eng. Abraham Byandala, and three others charged in the Mukono-Katosi road scam during the session.

In 2018, the Anti-Corruption Court acquitted Byandala, former UNRA acting executive director Eng. Berunado Ssebbugga Kimeze, Marvin Baryaruha (former UNRA legal boss), and Isaac Mugote, a former Housing Finance Bank staffer, of any wrongdoing in the Shs24 billion Kyetume- Katosi road saga, but the IGG has since appealed.

The court will also hear an appeal by Joe Ssemugooma and two others who are contesting their Anti-Corruption Court convictions.

Apollo Ssenkeeto, who pretended to be the country representative for Eutaw Construction Company, Joe Ssemugooma, the former director of finance and administration at UNRA, and Wilberforce Ssenjako, the former regional accountant for UNRA, were convicted and sentenced to ten and five years in prison, respectively, by the anti-corruption court.

“Ssenkeeto was the mastermind behind this con with his American pals, and if this were a play, he’d be the leading man. He is in desperate need of salvation because his deception caused numerous UNRA employees to lose their jobs. The scheme would have crumbled at tendering stage if Ssemugooma and Ssenjako had nipped it in the bud, and Eutaw would have been disqualified at the same level for providing phony securities,” Justice Lawrence Gidudu remarked during the sentence.

“They were gatekeepers who should have prevented the phony bid by thoroughly verifying the bid securities, but they failed to do so. A non-custodial punishment would be a travesty of justice and a minor slap on the wrist, but they cause a significant financial loss to the government.”

The trio is currently out on bond while their appeal is being heard.

According to Mary Kaitesi, the registrar in charge of the criminal registry at the Court of Appeal, the majority of the appeals to be heard during this session are for aggravated defilement convictions, which number 17 in total, as well as murder convictions (17).

The Court of Appeal will also hear instances including aggravated robbery(9), rape(2), intentional damage(2), and forgery (1)

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