The two former state health ministers, Dr. Alex Kamugisha and Captain Mike Mukula have been arraigned in court on charges of abuse of office.
The two ministers along with their former senior minister Jim Muhwezi are accused of mismanaging 7.9 billion shillings from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
Captain Mike Mukula was arrested this morning from his Bugolobi residence, while Dr. Alex Kamugisha was arrested from his home in Entebbe. Efforts to arrest Muhwezi were however futile as he was reportedly out of the country.
Both Mukula and Kamugisha were for more than five hours interrogated by the criminal investigations department in Kampala.
They were later transferred to Buganda Road court amidst tight security.
Court presided over by the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Margareth Tibulya heard that Mukula and Muwhezi requisitioned for 263 million shillings from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization Account at City Bank Limited.
The two are also charged with the embezzlement of 210 million shillings from the GAVI Account which was used for health advocacy conferences organized by the first lady Janet Museveni.
Mike Mukula pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the charge sheet Dr. Alex Kamugisha is separately charged with abuse of office. He allegedly approved a proposal of 10 million shillings for Dr. Ida Nankinga of Sheema County in Bushenyi District from the GAVI Fund which has not been accounted for.
Court proceedings against the two ministers were however adjourned on grounds that the co-accused persons, Jim Muhwezi and Alice Kaboyo were not in court.
On the request of the principle inspectorate officer in the IGG's office, Lillian Mwandah, Mike Mukula and Dr. Kamugisha, were sent on Remand in Luzira pending the arrest of Muhwezi and Kaboyo, who are the key culprits in the scam.
Mukula's defence lawyers, led by Fred Muwema, however said they were not happy about the adjournment. Muwema argued that Fred Muwema the IGG's failure to produce the two officials is reminiscent of selective prosecution and demanded that all the people implicated in the GAVI Funds scandal be produced in Court in order to speed up his clients trial.
The Chief Magistrate Maragret Tibulya advised the two Ministers to apply for bail through the High Court since she had no jurisdiction to grant them bail.
The case against the former ministers comes up for mention on June 6th.
The detention of the two former Ministers was received with mixed reactions from Movement supporters that jammed the Court premises. The supporters were not so much concerned about the arrest of the two Ministers, but rather at the manner in which the arrest was executed. They also wondered why Muwhezi and Kaboyo who are said to have close ties with the first family eluded the arrest.
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