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Mukamanayamba bribe case: UNBS managers granted bail

By Michael Odeng

Added 24th October 2020 01:34 PM

The accused on August 6, 2020 at Mukamanayamba factory, Kibutamo branch in Sheema district solicited and received gratification of sh3m.

Mukamanayamba bribe case: UNBS managers granted bail

Vitalis Shaka, the UNBS Inspector and Norman Mwamula Methwellah, the Surveillance Officer accused of receiving sh3m bribe. Arriving at court on Friday. Photo by Jimmy Auta

The accused on August 6, 2020 at Mukamanayamba factory, Kibutamo branch in Sheema district solicited and received gratification of sh3m.

COURT|CORRUPTION|CRIME

KAMPALA - The Court has released on bail two managers of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), accused of receiving sh3m bribe from makers of an energy booster drink-Mukamanayamba.

The accused, attached to UNBS Mbarara Regional Office, allegedly received the money to okay the quality of the energy drink during an inspection at the factory's base in Kabwohe, Sheema district.

They are Vitalis Shaka, 39, the UNBS Inspector and Norman Mwamula Methwellah, 33, the Surveillance Officer.

On Friday (October 23, 2020), the Anti-Corruption Court Grade One Magistrate, Moses Nabende released each of the accused on a cash bail of sh1m after finding their sureties substantial.

The magistrate also directed the sureties to execute a non-cash bond of sh5m.

They are Anthony Mbonye, a professor at Makerere University in the School of Health Sciences, Richard Kitaka, the chief executive director of Pharma Ville Limited, Daniel Ssekitto, the director of Silax Limited and Denis Kaija, a retired civil servant.  

"In case the accused disappears, their money will be forfeited to the sovereign state," he warned.     

Shaka, a resident of Entebbe Abaita-Babiri village, Wakiso district and Mwamula from Go-down III Cell, Naguru Ward, Nakawa Division, Kampala District, are battling charges of corruption.

According to the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009, a person convicted of corruption is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or sh4.8m fine or both.

State Attorney Marion Aciro from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) informed the court that investigations are incomplete.

"I request that you adjourn the case to another date to allow police complete investigations in the matter," she requested.

The prosecution alleges that the accused on August 6, 2020 at Mukamanayamba factory, Kibutamo branch in Sheema district solicited and received gratification of sh3m from the branch manager, in exchange for them to write a favourable report about the factory and not to close it.

Arrest

Speaking to the New Vision, the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) spokesperson Charles Mansio revealed that the duo first took a bribe of sh6m on July 29, 2020 and created a situation of demanding more money.

Mansio, however, said on a fateful day, the duo went to the factory's base purporting to inspect it but before issuing a certificate, they solicited for sh3m bribe.

"The manager was not happy and he tipped police officers. A trap was laid and the duo, unfortunately, succumbed to it by receiving sh3m that had been marked. They were intercepted at the gate as they were driving away," he narrates.

According to Mansio, the accused allegedly faulted the factory management over poor hygiene but instead of taking an action or advising them, they decided to extort money, which he said is a bad practice.

The CID spokesperson thanked the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU), headed by Lt.Col Edith Nakalema for coordinating with Police to ensure the suspects are apprehended and prosecuted in the courts of law.

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