The verdict has been delivered. Former Junior Health Minister has been found guilty in connection to the mismanagement of sh1.6b GAVI funds.
The Anti- Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Irene Akankwasa gave the verdict on Friday afternoon at the Mabua Road based Court in Kampala and sentenced the former minister to four years in jail even though the flamboyant Soroti Legislator refunded sh240m he reportedly took from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunization (GAVI).
While delivering the ruling, Akankwasa agreed with the prosecution led by Jane Asubo that Mukula signed for the money, received it and only refunded it in three installments. By this, prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mukula was guilty of the offense.
Initially, Mukula, together with Jim Muhwezi, Dr. Alex Kamugisha (primary health care) and Alice Kaboyo, a former State House employee were accused of swindling sh1.89b GAVI Funds. However, the trio were exonerated by the same Court.
Mukula has vehemently denied stealing the money saying he signed for travel on behalf of the First Lady Janet Museveni between February and October 2008 yet the monies had been allocated to facilitate advocacy programs in different parts of the country.
“First, I deny. I did not steal Shs210 million from the Gavi account. My clear recollection is that on 14th January 2005, at Imperial Resort Hotel in Entebbe, in a meeting with the First Lady of the Republic of Uganda, Mama Janet Museveni, a verbal request was made to me in person to help her source funding for her activities in mobilisation in the country for the good health of children, mothers and others.” Mukula told the Court last year.
The ruling NRM’s Vice President for Eastern Uganda who has not hidden his intentions about one day ruling this republic now has to deal with the bitter reality that he will spend four years at Luzira Maximum Prison.
According to his Lawyer Tibaijuka, Mukula is set to appeal the sentence.