The state has said that it is going to appeal against the release of the Soroti Municipality MP Mike Mukula whose charges of embezzling Shs210 million from the Gavi account were withdrawn on Wednesday by the Anti Corruption Court .
The state lead prosecutor ,Sidney Asubo yesterday said the government had decided to appeal against the ruling on Mukula’s case because the High Court Judge, David Wangutusi imported issues into the case”.
In his ruling ,Wangutusi faulted had the prosecution for singling out Mr Mukula and yet the evidence on record showed that the money he allegedly stole was in the hands of Maj. Gen. Muhwezi, who was the Health minister. The judge then set aside the four-year sentence handed to the Soroti Municipality MP by a Magistrate’s Court.
“Careful scrutiny of exhibit 2 (b), shows that the money was in front of the minister (Maj. Gen. Muhwezi) when he wrote the letter. I say this because by the time a person writes a letter splitting the amounts in denominations of 50, 20, and 5, he is most likely not looking at it, but fingering it as well.” the judge said
“The money must have been in the ministry’s headquarters under the control of the minister (Mr Muhwezi) where he could reach it. If the money that was supposed to have been stolen in February 2005 by the appellant (Mr Mukula) was under the control of the minister (Mr Muhwezi) in May 2005, the prosecution had a bigger job than they thought.
“That the money was still around in May, corroborates DW2s evidence that after she was directed to take the money to the senior minister (Maj. Gen. Muhwezi) she did so and the minister, after verification, told her to go and keep it in the safe. The evidence also complements exhibit D2, the letter of the undersecretary directing that the money be taken to Hon. Muhwezi instead of the appellant. I believe the evidence that exhibit D2 was acted upon.” He added
However , Asubo justifyig the intention to appeal against the sentence said that the Shs54 million that the judge referred to as having been under the control of Maj. Gen. Muhwezi, was not the issue but the Shs210 million.
“These are things imported into the matter by the judge. Our concern was about the Shs210 million not Shs54 million disbursed by Maj. Gen. Muhwezi to the office of the First Lady. This is the basis for our appeal,” said Mr Asubo.
Mr Asubo ruled out the fact that the IGG’s office was not well prepared for the case ,basing on the way it had been stated that there was no sufficient evidence to pin Mike Mukula to embezzling the money in question.
He ,Asubo assured the press that this time the prosecutor’s team will be well equipped to deal with the matter.