By Taddeo Bwambale
The trial and sentencing of Soroti Municipality MP Capt. Mike Mukula for embezzling public funds should serve as a lesson to Ugandans to shun corruption, ethics minister Fr. Simon Lokodo has said.
Mukula was on Friday sentenced to four years imprisonment for embezzling sh210m from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) in 2005.
The minister said such a punishment would serve as a deterrent for Ugandans who want to engage in corruption irrespective of their positions.
“Hoping that the trial was well-handled, the sentence is a great step in the fight against corruption. It is a signal to the public, especially those who handle public funds that they should desist from misusing them,” he stated.
Lokodo also defended the court’s decision to hand Mukula a four-year jail term, but said he would not comment about the complaints from the public about the alleged selective prosecution of officials involved in the scam.
“I have heard some people complain that Mukula’s sentence was unfair since the ruling did not apply to his co-accused in addition to him returning the money. I reserve my comment on that. But in any case, I trust the justice system,” he said.
The minister noted that the major challenges in fighting corruption in Uganda are technicalities during the prosecution of suspects.
“The prosecution has often lost cases because of the general rule that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty,” Lokodo said.