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Katosi scam: Senjanko to discover fate of bail application

By Barbra Kabahumuza, Michael Odeng

Added 16th January 2019 12:00 AM

He was convicted alongside city businessman Apollo Senkeeto who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment

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Wilberforce Ssenjako was sentenced to five years in jail in August 2018. Photo by Miriam Namutebi

He was convicted alongside city businessman Apollo Senkeeto who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment

Former Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) regional accountant Wilberforce Senjanko has asked court to release him on bail after spending five months in Luzira Prison.

The Anti-Corruption Court head, Lawrence Gidudu, on August 30, 2019 convicted and sentenced Senjanko and UNRA’s former director finance and administration, Joe Ssemugooma, to five years each after finding them guilty of four offences, including theft of sh24.7b meant for the upgrade of Mukono-Katosi-Nyenga road.

The duo was convicted alongside city businessman Apollo Senkeeto who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

A day before, former works minister Eng. Abraham Byandala, former UNRA executive director, Eng. Berunado Kimeze Ssebugga and former Housing Finance Bank official Isaac Mugote were acquitted of the same offences.

Lawyer Andrew Bwenjje persuaded Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal to grant Senjanko bail, saying he is the sole bread winner of his family of four children.

He also presented three sureties including his father Lameck Lukwago as assurance that he will return to court for trial once released on bail. Others were lawyer Joan Nakaliika and Robert Ssali.

Bwenjje also told court that the convict has a right to liberty and fair trial as enshrined in the Constitution.

Bwenjje told court that Senjanko never missed a court appearance when he was granted sh10m bail by the Anti-Corruption Court. “He fulfilled all the bail conditions when he was still at the High Court.”

He also asked court to grant Senjanko bail, saying that he suffers from diabetes that cannot be handled by prison authorities.

Bwenjje told court that it is not clear how much was lost in the Katosi scam as per the High Court judgement.

“It was not clear as to what was lost according to the trial judge’s judgement but the charge sheet indicated sh24.7b,” he revealed.

However, the Inspector General of Government (IGG) prosecutor, Johnson Munaba, asked court to reject Senjanko’s bail application, saying his appeal has little chance of success.

The judge told the parties that he will notify them on the date when he will deliver judgement on the matter. 

Prosecution led by Sarah Birungi argues that UNRA officials failed to verify securities and thereby causing financial loss through an act of neglect of duty.

Prosecution also states that Senkeeto uttered a false KCB Bank bid guarantee for sh1.9b in support of a bid for procurement of the road upgrade.

Prosecution further says that Senkeeto obtained execution of a performance bond of sh16.5b from Insurance Company of East Africa and UAP Insurance by misrepresenting to them that it was guaranteeing a pending payment for the road.

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