By Edward Anyoli
Bukonzo East Member of Parliament, Yokasi Bihande Bwambale has admitted stealing sh20m meant for his constituency.
Bwambale on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the charges of embezzlement and uttering false accountability to the chief accountant of Parliament.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire asked him whether the facts stated in the charge sheets were true and correct. "It is true I stole," the legislator admitted.
Bamugemereire subsequently sentenced Bihande to a fine of sh6m or serve three years imprisonment in default. He was also given a suspended sentence of two years, which means that if he commits any other offence within two years he would be sentenced to two years in jail.
After the court ruling, Bihande expressed happiness, saying it was fair and as a Christian he admits the mistakes and takes responsibility for the mess.
The court also ordered Bihande to refund the sh20m he stole from the constituency that was advanced to him.
The case was brought against Bihande by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG). Sarah Birungi, the head of prosecution from the IGG said during the financial year 2008 and 2009 Bihande received sh10m on behalf of the people of Bukonzo East in Kasese district, but failed to account for the money.
He instead filed a false accountability with the chief accountant of Parliament claiming he had spent the money as required.
In the subsequent year 2009 and 2010 Bihande embezzled another sh10m and uttered a fake accountability to the clerk to Parliament.
Members of Parliament used to receive sh10m as development funds for their constituencies and they were to account for it. The scheme was later stopped.
Bihande apologized to the people of Bukonzo and blamed the loss on his personal assistant Robert Baluku who he said duped him by giving fake accountability.
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Court fines MP sh6m for embezzling sh20m