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Fomer Vice President-Bukenya charges spark bias claims

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Jun 1, 2011.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Jun 1, 2011
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    A lawmaker yesterday accused the Inspector General of Government, Mr Raphael Baku, of “selective prosecution” and using underhand methods to prefer corruption charges against former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya. Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo told journalists at Parliament that Prof. Bukenya is a “sacrificial lamb”—and that the former VP, dropped from Cabinet two weeks ago, was just “an accomplice” in the Chogm car deal.

    Kutesa denies
    Mr Ssekikubo said the architects, including his political nemesis Sam Kutesa, the foreign affairs minister and President Musevini's in law, should have been the first on the prosecution line. “Selective prosecution of the corrupt is futile and at worst a sham,” the MP said. “The people who were involved in Chogm cars are known and Kutesa is one of them. He is the one behind Motorcare, the company accused with Prof Bukenya. Kutesa wrote to companies soliciting for bids and chaired some meeting on behalf of Prof. Bukenya. Why only crucify Prof. Bukenya when there are others in government?”

    But Mr Kutesa yesterday dismissed Mr Ssekikubo’s claims, saying he was politicking. “Ssekikubo is just playing Sembabule politics. He should be ignored. I explained everything when I came to the committee. His role in the matter is finished. It’s now up to the investigating agencies and they should be allowed to do their work.”

    The Anti-Corruption Court on Monday summoned Prof. Bukenya to appear before it on June 16 over charges of abuse of office and fraudulent practice over procurement of executive cars for the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala.

    The former VP is jointly charged with Motorcare (U) Ltd, the company that supplied the 204 executive vehicles at Shs9.4 billion. Motorcare is accused of fraudulent practice, a charge the company denies. “We have never been involved in any fraudulent activities,” said Mr Moses Banturaki, the Motorcare’s sales manager, said on phone. “We took part in a tender that was advertised, we competed against other companies and won. Our lawyers will look at the charge and comment but we shall have our day in court to prove our innocence. The truth will come out.”

    Mr Banturaki dismissed allegations that Mr Kutesa had peddled for Motorcare. “Kutesa doesn’t own any inch of Motorcare (U) Ltd. The owners of Motorcare are known and you can check with the Registrar of Companies. Kutesa was not the procurement entity, this tender was advertised by the Ministry of Works,” he said. Mr Ssekikubo, however, insists it was wrong to only pick on Prof. Bukenya.