EOC boss risks arrest for snubbing court

Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi

 

The chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Ms Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi risks arrest for severally defying court summons.

Last week, the Anti-corruption Court before Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ocaya issued criminal summons against Ntambi requiring her to appear and answer charges in regard to misappropriation of millions of tax payers.

However, when the case came up on Wednesday morning, Ntambi’s lawyer MacDusman Kabega reported that she was ill and undergoing treatment at a city medical facility.

According to Kabega, Ntambi who is said to be hypertensive is slated to undergo operation.

The lawyer’s submissions with Ntambi’s failure to honour court summons at the previous two sessions angered the magistrate prompting her to extend the criminal summons to October 29 this year.

“I will extend criminal summons for the very last time. Should she fail to appear at the next court sitting, I will not hesitate to issue an arrest warrant,” she ruled.

State attorney James Khaukha told court that investigations into the matter were complete and they were only delayed by Ntambi’s failure to appear.

Last week, the court summoned Ms Ntambi to appear after prosecution amended the charge sheet to include her as the tenth suspect. She was expected to take plea over accusations to do with conspiracy to defraud.

Ms Ntambi is jointly accused with nine other former employees of the commission who were interdicted after they were charged last year and were released on bail pending trial.

The nine suspects include former senior personal secretary to the chairperson, Ms Agnes Enid Kamahoro, Moses Mugabe (senior monitoring evaluation officer), Harriet Byangire (senior accountant), Ronnie Kwesiga (Acting accounts assistant), Evans Jjemba (Principal Compliance officer), Manasseh Kwihangana (senior compliance officer), Sarah Nassanga (office attendant) and Sunday Nicholas Olwor.

It is alleged that between November 2018 and April 2019 at EOC offices in Kampala District, Mugabe, Mujuni, Jjemba and Ntambi being employed in the commission in their respective positions conspired to defraud the government of Shs35,002,000.

The state alleges that between January and April 2019 at EOC offices in Kampala, Kamahoro, Mujuni, Olwor and Ntambi conspired to defraud government of Shs9,480,000.

Prosecution alleges that between November 2018 and April 2019, Mugabe stole Shs29,270,000 to which he had access by virtue of his office and that Mugabe alone also stole another Shs14,500,300, the property of his employer (EOC) to which he had access to by virtue of his office.

The state alleges that Mugabe and Jjemba stole Shs5,732,000 to which they had access to by virtue of their positions.

According to prosecution, in November 2018 at EOC offices, Mujuni being the secretary to the commission approved payment of Shs35,002,000 purportedly for undertaking an audit exercise of Rural Electrification Programme in Uganda whereas not, knowing or having reason to believe that his act would cause a financial loss to the government.

Prosecution alleges that in December 2018, Kamahoro, Mujuni and Olwor, in abuse of their respective offices did arbitrary acts prejudicial to the interest of their employer when they fraudulently processed, requisitioned, approved and forwarded for payment of Shs19,723,000 purportedly for development.

According to prosecution, between January 24 and April 2019, Ms Kamahoro and Ms Nassanga stole more than Shs13million and Ms Nassanga alone another Shs13 million from EOC.

 

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