Anti Corruption Court Judge David Wangutusi is tomorrow expected to deliver his verdict in an appeal filed by former junior health minister Capt Mike Mukula.
Mukula is challenging his conviction and the four-year jail term handed to him for embezzlement.
Justice Wangutusi fixed Wednesday’s date about a month ago after he heard the appeal submissions by both the defense and prosecution.
On January 18, Anti Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Irene Akankwasa found Capt. Mukula guilty of embezzling 210 million shillings from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) account meant for youth advocacy activities in the office of the First Lady, Janet Museveni.
The Soroti Municipality MP was accordingly sentenced to four years in jail, where he has been ever since.
However, he appealed against the lower court’s decision.During the appeal hearing last month, Capt. Mukula through his lawyers argued that he was wrongly convicted of embezzlement charge since ministers are not government employees.
David Mpanga, one of Capt Mukula’s lawyers, submitted that embezzlement charge only applies to public officers; meaning that it cannot stand against their client who was a minister at the time the said crime was committed.
Capt. Mukula’s other lawyer, Ateenyi Tibaijuka, argued that the trial Chief Magistrate erred in law when she believed the prosecution’s case that his client had stolen the 210 million shillings without hearing his side first.
His lawyers concluded their appeal submissions by asking court to allow Mukula’s appeal; quash the conviction and set aside the four year jail sentence.
On the contrary, Sydney Asubo, the public prosecutor asked court to uphold the lower court’s judgment. Asubo argued that ministers are government employees who earn their wages from the consolidated fund and that the charge of embezzlement stands against Capt Mukula.
He however, asked court to substitute the charge of embezzlement with that of theft in case it ruled that ministers are not government employees.