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Eng. Bagonza jailed over CHOGM funds

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd May 2010 03:00 AM

THE Government’s Engineer-in-Chief, Samson Bagonza, has been jailed for causing financial loss of sh1.6b. He is the first person to be charged and convicted over the misappropriation of CHOGM funds.

THE Government’s Engineer-in-Chief, Samson Bagonza, has been jailed for causing financial loss of sh1.6b. He is the first person to be charged and convicted over the misappropriation of CHOGM funds.

By Edward Anyoli

THE Government’s Engineer-in-Chief, Samson Bagonza, has been jailed for causing financial loss of sh1.6b. He is the first person to be charged and convicted over the misappropriation of CHOGM funds.

Justice John Bosco Katutsi of the Anti-Corruption Court yesterday found Bagonza also guilty of abuse of office.

Justice Katutsi, however, deferred sentencing to June 28 after defence lawyer MacDosman Kabega said he needed more time for mitigation.

Bagonza was charged with two counts of causing financial loss and abuse of office under the Anti-Corruption Act, section 11 and 20.

Bagonza approved additional construction works on the Entebbe highway between Zzana and Kibuye during the CHOGM preparations.

The additional cost amounted to sh1.6b, which, according to the prosecution, was not approved by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).

Katutsi said prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Bagonza signed vouchers for additional funds.

Bagonza is said to have approved the payment of over sh1.6b to Energo, which is purported to have done the additional road construction works.

“The accused, with utter impunity, went ahead to sign Variation Order number one, disregarding the Public Procurement and Disposal of Asset Authority Act. all this amounted to an arbitrary act,” Katutsi ruled.

The court also found that Bagonza personally sub-contracted Kwik Service Limited and Bison to clean Kitubulu road at sh4.3m per kilometre for 30 days, without subjecting the company to competition as required by law.

Under section 11 of the Anti-Corruption Act, the maximum sentence for abuse of office is seven years imprisonment or a fine not exceeding sh3.3m.

Under section 20 of Anti- Corruption Act, the offence of causing financial loss carries a maximum sentence of 14 years or a fine not exceeding sh6.7m.

Senior principal State attorney James Odumbi asked for a tough sentence, saying it would act as a warning to officials who misuse public funds.

As soon the court announced that Bagonza had been found guilty and his bail was cancelled, court orderlies whisked him to the courtroom cell as his friends and relatives looked on.

Bagonza remained calm and stood with his hands behind his back. Dressed in white short-sleeved shirt, black pair of trousers and black shoes, Bagonza was in court by 8:00am.

His lawyers Kabega and Barnabas Tumusingize followed him to the court cell, where they had a brief meeting with him before driving off.

Eng. Bagonza jailed over CHOGM funds

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