Anti-graft court dismisses pension scam case

The multi-billion pension scam case against the former Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Public Service Jimmy Rwamafa has been dismissed.

The case has been dismissed by the Anti-Corruption Court chief magistrate Sarah Langa after prosecution failed to produce witnesses for two years.

The magistrate has advised the prosecution to re-instate the case in case whenever it gets ready.

Rwamafa and 8 other ministry officials have for the last two years been battling with offences relating to abuse of office, causing financial loss of up to 165 billion shillings, embezzlement and conspiracy to defraud pensioners’ money.

They were also accused of creating over 2,600 ghost pensioners but they had denied the allegations.

The other officials who were freed yesterday include; Christopher Obey (former principal accountant), Steven Kunsa Kiwanuka (former director for research and development), David Japins Oloka (former senior accounts assistant), Francis Lubega (former information system analyst), Steven Lwanga (former account assistant), Peter Ssajjabi (East African Community Beneficiaries Association), Ishaka Sentongo (Assistant Manager Operations Cairo Bank) and Ms Rahmah Nakigozi Mugeere (Compliance Officer, Cairo Bank).

Shortly after the dismissal of the case, Ms Jane Okuo Kajuga, the spokesperson of the DPP said it was it was unfortunate that court heavily blamed the prosecution for the delay in prosecuting this case and yet there were other factors that delayed the same which were not of their making.

Ms Kajuga vowed that the DPP is going to reorganize itself and have this matter reinstated as soon as possible and that this is not the end of the pension case.

“We acknowledge that we went to court over two years ago but it’s unfortunate that the court heaped the entire blame of not prosecuting this case on us…” said Ms Kajuga in a telephone interview

She added: “you remember the closure of the court for over seven months, was it our making? you also remember when the case was halted for some time after Cairo Bank had gone to the high court challenging their addition to the charge sheet, in all these instances, we did not have control..”

“The dismissal is not the end of this pension case and it’s not a bar for us to come back to court to have it reinstated..”

On the contrary, counsel Isabirye, one of the defense lawyers who had earlier asked court to dismiss the case against their clients, welcomed the dismissal adding that this was what was expected of the court to do.

It was not clear by press time whether the suspects would be allowed to assume their offices.

Story by Anthony Wesaka