Ministers block trial

The trial of Ministers Sam Kutesa, John Nassasira and Mwesigwa Rukutana over alleged charges of graft has been halted, pending a constitutional court pronouncement over the same.

This is after one of their lawyer Oscar Kambona, asked court to refer the case to the Constitutional Court to decide whether the IGG can conduct prosecution when his office is not fully constituted.

Kambona argued that the powers of the Inspectorate lie with the IGG and his 2 deputies and not with the IGG as an individual.

 Inspectorate is currently run Rapheal Bakku in acting capacity. The ministers are also challenging the practice of cancelling the suspects’ bail whenever cases are committed to the High Court, and want the court to pronounce itself on its legality.

The representative of the IGG Sydney Asubo said he was happy to wait for the decision of the constitutional court. Asubo however wants the court to pronounce itself on whether or not the raising of what he called bogus questions does not interfere with the independence of the judiciary.

The Anti-corruption court chief magistrate Irene Akankwasa has now hated the trial until the constitutional court has pronounced itself on the matter.

The ministers face charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss from an unauthorized expenditure of 14 billion shillings ahead of the 2007 Common Heads of Government Meeting.

The three Kutesa, Nasasira and Rukutana are alleged to have passed the decision for government to fully fund the construction of drive ways, parking areas and a marina at MunyonyoSpeke Resort Hotel, without the mandate of cabinet.

They will return to Court on 24th January 2012, for mention of the case.

Story by Ruth Anderah