The Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala has remanded Sarah Babirye Kityo, the President of the Uganda Netball Federation to Luzira Prisons. She faces charges of false accounting, involving a sum of 186 million Shillings.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges while appearing before the Grade One Magistrate, Christopher Opito. The court heard that between November and December 2021 at the Uganda Netball Federation Office in Kampala District, Babirya and others allegedly engaged in false accounting with the intent to defraud.
The funds in question, totaling 186,374,110 Shillings, were allocated to the Federation by the National Council of Sports for the Pent Series and African National Championship in Namibia, during Babirye’s tenure as the Federation President. The Prosecutor, Gloria Inzikuru, requested an adjournment to conclude ongoing investigations. Babirye’s lawyers, Joseph Luzige and Joshua Byamazima, sought bail, asserting her innocence and presenting her fixed place of residence within the court’s jurisdiction.
Despite the Defense noting Babirye’s status as the current Netball Federation President, contrary to the description by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), they affirmed her commitment to attend trial proceedings as required. The Defense emphasized that the charges are ongoing investigations by various authorities, and Babirye hasn’t evaded these inquiries. She presented sureties including the Director of Kingston High School Kawempe, Adam Kayira, her sister Diana Tumukunde, and her husband Daniel Ntare, the Director of Jordana Sports Management.
However, the Prosecution objected to bail citing concerns over the sureties’ residences and their ability to financially stand surety. They also requested time to verify the documents presented by Babirye’s husband and sister. Consequently, the court remanded Babirye until December 1st, 2023, for further bail application hearings.
Babirye displayed resilience in court, consoling her distressed relatives before being taken to the court cells and later transported to prison. This marks Babirye’s return to prison six months after being released on bail by the Buganda Road Magistrates Court on charges of obtaining money by false pretense, alongside allegations of defrauding individuals by falsely promising to facilitate travel to the United States.
Babirye, a former Youth Member of Parliament for the Central Region, was previously placed on leave pending investigations into allegations of office abuse and financial mismanagement, initiated by Minister of Sports and Education, Janet Kataaha Museveni.