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Jamwa sentenced to 12 years in jail

By Ann Mugisa, Edward Anyoli

Added 9th March 2011 03:00 AM

His lawyer, David Mpanga, tried to plead for a lenient sentence in vain.

Jamwa 703x422

His lawyer, David Mpanga, tried to plead for a lenient sentence in vain.

COURT

KAMPALA - The Anti-Corruption Court yesterday meted out a 12-year imprisonment sentence to former NSSF managing director David Chandi Jamwa who was last week convicted of causing a financial loss of sh3b to the fund.

His lawyer, David Mpanga, tried to plead for a lenient sentence in vain. Anne Mugisa and Edward Anyoli were in court and recorded the proceedings.

Mpanga: My Lord, I would like you to consider four matters. The first one is the personal circumstances of the accused; second concerns the need for the punishment to fit the crime; third, the issue of rehabilitation of the accused and the fourth, I pray that you consider the issue of public interest.

The accused is a 40-year-old man of good character and had no previous criminal convictions. He is a certified public accountant, and a certified stock broker and, until recently, one of the youngest and most successful heads of public institutions as the youngest MD of NSSF with a good career by the age of 40.

The accused is married with six children and 4 dependants. The wife has been here in court. His mother and father are here.

Second, the nature of this offence and punishment: There was no evidence adduced here that the accused was in any way actuated by a motive of personal gain. There was no evidence that he was motivated by anything other than intention to implement the new investment policy of NSSF management.

Judge: Reserve that for the Court of Appeal

Mpanga: (struggles to find balance) He was acting with and on advice of a number of people. He was misadvised, perhaps an overestimation of one’s duty. This was an offence bordering on a very bad investment decision.

On Rehabilitation a long custodial sentence would be of little or no value to the accused. He will stand to lose his certifications as a chartered accountant and stock broker. Secondly, in this day and age of internet and Google tool nothing is ever forgotten. One has to Google and this thing will keep coming up.

The accused cannot be employed in public office. Cannot be employed in a private office and certainly not ….

Judge: Prison is for us all. Those are things that one should think of before plunging into such…

Mpanga: One might say plunging yes, but this was done on advice of the board, the investment analyst and others. There was no time to think about, and no time can one pin point criminal intention.

Earlier I was saying that he has become unemployable in Uganda and abroad. My lord he will never be employed in such a position again. So a long custodial sentence will be just an act of revenge.

A hefty fine that has an effect of crippling the accused would have the effect of deterring other executives from…. a short custodial sentence would achieve the aims of deterring them….

SENTENCING

Judge: I have heard the lengthy learned speech pointing out all possible reasons why sentence should not be severe. Your counsel has said all in your favour and I think all has been said that could have been said. However, corruption has become a cancer…

The UN passed a convention on corruption calling on all members states to do whatever is possible to rule out the scourge of corruption. It is a crime of immense proportion and it is a concern not only here but elsewhere: It must be stamped out. Greed must be punished.

There is no doubt that you were one of the highest paid public servants in Uganda. It is common knowledge that a driver in NSSF takes home about sh1.4m at the end of the month. Then how about the MD?.....

That notwithstanding you decided to deprive the workers of Uganda, some of them wretched of the earth, a cool sh3b in a space of 21 days. It is common knowledge that these workers cannot access their contributions until they attain the age of 50 years, when their children are sent away from school.

It is said that no evidence was forthcoming to show you were driven by the desire for personal gain. But anybody with sense cannot believe you acted innocently. Under that veneer of innocence is rot.

Remember that white collar crimes are done by intelligent persons. Law enforcement agencies are no match for people like you.

Did it not strike you as odd that those you had mandated to sell became the purchasers within a short space of less than 24 hours after the mandate? You think we are stupid? There must have been something sinister beneath this pretence of seemingly innocent dealing.

It is said that you were advised by a financial analyst, but isn’t it odd that you gave mandate on the third and the advice came a day after? Is that how things work? Can you see that there is a network?

My quarrel with prosecution is this selective prosecution. It is clear that others should be here but they brought only you. Selective prosecution must be condemned and whoever is behind it must be condemned. But I am a judge, I am not a prosecutor. That is not my job.

You had a hefty salary of sh18m per month and other hefty allowances… It was said that you had advanced yourself more than sh200m making yourself one of the richest public servants at the expense of the savers.

You robbed from them sh3b and you say that you should be given a lighter punishment? No sir.

Do 12 years in jail. You are barred from holding any public office for a period of 10 years after serving your sentence.

Jamwa sentenced to 12 years in jail

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