ICT state minister Alintuma Nsambu was convicted on Thursday of issuing a bounced cheque. Masaka Grade One Magistrate Godfrey Kawesa sentenced Nsambu to one-year imprisonment or a fine of sh3.2m.
Nsambu, the information and communication technology minister and Bukoto East MP, issued the cheque for sh1.2m to a Rakai-based womenâ€™s organisation.
He was granted permission to leave court and raise the money and returned hours later to hand it over.
Prosecution proved that Nsambu borrowed sh1.6m from the Women Enterprise Association of Rakai in 2001, which he failed to pay back. Court heard that on July 15, 2002, Nsambu issued a Standard Chartered bank cheque to the group, which bounced.
Nsambu promised to give the women cash, but all efforts to recover the money, even through the Speaker of Parliament, were fruitless. He was sued last year.
Kawesa said the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Nsambu was guilty.
Nsambuâ€™s defence had been that the associationâ€™s treasurer, Jane Nalubili, accessed the cheque without his consent but Kawesa ruled that Nsambu should have reported the matter to the bank and the police immediately.
He said nsambuâ€™s sentence should serve as a lesson for others.
Minister fined over bounced cheque