The Court of Appeal has declined to release Joseph Muhanguzi Kashaka, the former permanent secretary Ministry of local government pending the hearing of his appeal challenging his conviction.
Kashaka was convicted together with five others to ten years in jail by the Anti-Corruption Court on July 17, which found him guilty of causing government a financial loss of 4.2 billion shillings in the botched procurement of 70,000 bicycles for village and parish local council chairpersons.
The bicycles were to be used for mobilization ahead of the 2011 general elections. However, Kashaka expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling and petitioned the court of appeal.
His also asked court to release him on bail pending the disposal of his application. In his application Kashaka said that he was of advanced age at 60 years and had chronic Hepatisis B which he claimed can’t be treated in Luzira prison because they don’t have the necessary medical services.
Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa of the court of appeal single handedly heard the bail application on August 18 this year.
In her ruling this morning, Justice Balungi declined to release Kashaka on bail saying that his grounds for bail including ill health and advanced age, didn’t constitute exceptional circumstances warranting his release since he is a convict of a serious crime.
But on a lighter note, she stayed the anti corruption court order requiring Kashaka to refund a sixth of the money lost in bicycle scam pending the disposal of his appeal.
Earlier on Josephine Namatovu, the senior state attorney objected to Kashaka’s bail application saying he had not adduced sufficient reasons to justify his temporary release.
Namatovu also argued that there is no evidence to support Kashaka’s plea that he is of advanced age of 60 years and his claim that Luzira prison is unable to treat his ailment of chronic Hepatisis B disease.
She also argued that the four sureties presented by Kashaka didn’t disclose their true relationship with him to enable court know whether they can produce him in court whenever he is required.
He co-convicts are Henry Bamutura, Robert Mwebaze, Sam Emorut Erongot, Timothy Musherure and Adam Bond Alum