MORE CHOGM CHARGES AGAINST SENIOR POLITICIANS ROCK POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT
The Inspector General of Government moved swiftly over growing allegations that former Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya was singled out and kept in remand jail while awaiting his bail application to be heard by the High Court, when more charges against senior politicians were brought. Conspiracy theorists had tried to make a connection of the former Vice President losing his parliamentary seat when an election petition was upheld against him yesterday and being kept in remand until next week due to the inexplicable absence of a judge to deal with the application for bail, unsettling a crucially important NRM constituency of voters and party supporters from central Uganda.
Summons were issued yesterday by the Anti Corruption Court for Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa, former Works and Transport Minister and now Government Chief Whip John Nasasira and the now Minister of State for Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana, to answer charges of misappropriation of government funds in the run up to the November 2007 Commonwealth Summit.
The public accounts committee of the last parliament had investigated a number of politicians, senior civil servants and companies involved in alleged scams to siphon off public funds from the CHOGM budgets and while the current cases now before court are significant in regard of the personalities involved, it is only the tip of the iceberg as more charges against a larger number of individuals are said to be in the final stages of preparation. The committees report however was eventually thrown out by the plenary session of the last parliament which attempted to give blanket absolution, a failed effort it seems as the office of the Inspector General of Government conducted subsequent investigations and decided that prosecutions were in the public interest to quell rumours that the mighty always get away.
Notably, while the ruling NRM has made an anti corruption drive part of their manifesto for the last elections, have other reports emerged that President Museveni once again came to the aid of his former deputy by throwing his weight behind Bukenya, stating that in his opinion the former Vice President had no case to answer, bringing the head of state on a collision course with the supposedly independent court system. This scenario gained momentum when media reports began to emerge that a cabinet session had resolved to get Bukenya out of jail, something independent observers promptly used to speculate over the independence of the judiciary and due process. Watch this space as this saga now gains momentum and these cases go underway while others are due to be brought.