May 15, 2013

Kyambogo Officials Plead Not Guilty

Seven officials of Kyambogo University who were picked up by the Inspectorate of Government last week have appeared before Dorothy Lwanga Ssempala, the grade one magistrate of the Anti Corruption court. They are Prof. John Okedi, the chairperson Kyambogo University council, Prof. John Opuda-Asibo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Sam Akorimo, University Secretary, Christine Obonyo-Kyayonka, Deputy Registrar-admissions, Ham Mungyereza, Bursar and Dr Wilfred Nahamya, Daniel Ndawula, both lecturer.

The eighth suspect Jackson Betihamah, a Senior Administrative Staff Association did not show up in court to take his plea. His absence prompted Sydney Asubo, the public prosecutor from the Inspectorate of Government to ask court to issue a warrant for his arrest. The remaining suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges of conflict of interest brought against them and were released on bond. Prof. Okedi executed a cash bond of Shs3 million while Ms Obonyo-Kyayonka, Nahamya, and Ndawula were released on cash bond of 2 million shillings.

The remaining suspects Akorimo, Mungyereza and Prof. Opuda-Asibo also executed a cash bond of Shs1 million each. According to the charges sheet, some of suspects are accused of participating in University Council Special meeting held on October 31 2012 at Hotel Africana in Kampala with vested interests to remove Prof. Isaiah Omolo Ndiege, the Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor. The charge sheet shows that Prof. Okedi, Dr Nahamya and Ndawula failed to declare their conflict of interest that they had issued a notice to sue Prof. Ndiege for alleged defamation and went ahead to participate in the proceedings in which a resolution was reached to sack him.

In count three, Obonyo-Kyayonka is accused of not disclosing her personal interest after she had accused Prof. Ndiege of sexual harassment. In a separate charge, Irene Mulyagonja, the Inspector General of Government accuses Prof. Okedi, Dr Opuda, Akorimo, Mungyereza and Betihamah of refusing to comply with her orders to stay any disciplinary proceedings against Prof Ndiege. Once convicted, the officials face a jail term of up to 12 years or a fine of Shs100 million or both for conflict of interest. They also stand to be imprisoned for up to three years or pay a fine of Shs3 million or both for the charge of disobeying the orders of IGG. The suspects return to court on May 29 for further instructions.

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