Sam Bitangaro, the former Gender Minister and his three co accused are out on bail. The others are City lawyer, John Francis Onyango Owor, William Tumwine, the Officer in charge of Uganda Women Entrepreneurship at the Gender Ministry and his wife, Stella Kakuba.
The four, who are battling seven charges of defrauding government Shillings 3 billion, were granted cash bail of Shillings 7 million each by the Makindye Chief Magistrate, Prossy Katushabe this morning. Their sureties executed non cash bond of Shillings 200 million. It followed a bail application filed by their lawyers including Caleb Alaka and Peter Kabatsi.
In the applications, the lawyers argued that the accused persons had a right to bail since their offenses are bailable. The lawyers also argued that Bitangaro and Tumwine were of advanced age and have permanent places of aboard in Kampala like their co accused.
They also presented the rich work history of Bitangaro, saying that he has worked for Government for over thirty years having been a State Attorney in the DPP’s office, arguing that he cannot abscond from court.
The lawyers also submitted that Tumwine’s family was helpless since he was locked up together with his wife, Kakuba. Bitangaro presented his wife Barbara Bitangaro, a business woman, Peterson Kajara, the Mwenge South MP and his Kisoro Municipality counterpart Sam Byibesho as his sureties.
Onyango presented lawyers Annet Adanya Abadda, Miriam Kaggwa Babirye and Communications Specialist, Moses Odongo Odokonyero as his sureties. Tumwine and his wife presented their friends Justine Kasule, a farmer, Richard Magezi, Samuel Brian Ssegawa and Dan Ahimbisibwe as their sureties. The State didn’t object to the bail application, saying the sureties were substantial.
He however, asked court to release the suspects on stringent terms if pleased to grant them bail. The Makindye Grade One Magistrate, John Okipi remanded the accused person last week on charges of defrauding Government Shillings 3 billion by selling it non-existent land in Kassanda and Gomba districts. According to the charge sheet, government bought the land to resettle more than 2500 people evicted from Luwunga Central Forest Reserve in Kiboga District.
It is alleged that on May 21st, 2014 at M/S and Company Advocates offices in Bunga in Makindye Division, Bitangaro obtained Shillings 1.3 billion from Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society Limited by false pretense. He reportedly claimed that he has good and marketable titled land measuring 492 hectares at Bukompe in Nalutuntu Sub county in Kassanda District whereas not.
It is also alleged that on November 5th, 2014 the suspects conspired to fraudulently acquire the land title comprising of Block, 308 plots 146 through irregular subdivision of plot 122, which was already sold to Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society Limited.
Onyango is faulted for issuing a false land inspection report while representing the cooperative. Tumwine and Kakuba are accused of fraudulently obtaining Shillings 1.6 billion from Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society on grounds that they had good property at Degeya , Kasambya in Gomba district where as not. The suspects have since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio