News and Views

Tears as Ex- VP Bukenya remanded to Luzira Prison

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Former Vice President of Uganda Prof. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya has been remanded to Luzira Prison in connection with the award of contract to supply cars for the Commonwealth meeting in Kampala four years ago.

In a dramatic event, Prof. Bukenya who had tears rolling down his cheeks, had his supporters trade harsh words with the heavily deployed security personnel comprising the Police and plain clothed officers over which car to use to take him Luzira.

The arguments, which put to halt court business close to an hour, witnessed the Head of police VIPPU, Mr Laban Muhabwe, struggle with Prof. Buenya’s driver to grab the car keys in vain. 

Chief Magistrate Ms Irene Akankwasa of the Anti-Corruption Division committed Prof. Bukenya to High Court for trial despite objections by his lawyer Mac Dusman Kabega challenging the power of the Inspectorate of Government to commit his client.

“The accused person (Bukenya) is hereby committed to the High Court. His bail elapses. You are remanded to custody,” declared Ms Akankwasa in a fully packed court room.

Unlike other suspects taken to court cells, Prof. Bukenya was first rushed to the court registry, an incident that drew anger among his supporters and sureties who demanded to know why he was being guarded after being sent to Prison.

“Stop duping us that you now care after putting our man down. You have achieved what you wanted now use the prison car and not his personal vehicle because who is going to pay for the fuel?” demanded Prof. Bukenya’s aide who declined to be mentioned.

Prosecution led by Mr Sydney Asubo alleges that Prof. Bukenya being a person employed as Vice President in the government and chairman of the Chogm  Cabinet subcommittee, between July 2006 and November 2007 in Kampala, unlawfully and high handedly in abuse of his office, influenced and directed the award of a contract for supply of 80 units of BMW police outrider motorcycles for CHOGM, to Motorcare in total disregard of the regulations governing public procurement.

Prof. Bukenya, who had been granted a cash bail Shs50 million and depositing his passport, is jointly charged with Motorcare Uganda, a limited liability company that was awarded the Shs9.4 billion Chogm contract to supply 204 executive vehicles for the commonwealth summit in Kampala in 2007.

However, the court released two company officials without taking plea and at no conditions despite submission that they were appointed to represent the company.

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