KAMPALA– The embattled city lawyer Bob Kasango has dissociated himself from the Shs15.4b pension scam saying that he was only called upon to help process the pension cash from the government expeditiously since he knew the process.
While defending himself at the Anti-Corruption Court on Monday August 13, Kasango denied ever making any appearance before the High Court to represent the pensioners but recalls drawing a memorandum with another lawyer John Matovu who was their lawyer for joint representation of the claimants.
Kasango is jointly charged with three top former public service officials; permanent secretary of Ministry of Public Service Jimmy Lwamafa, principal accountant in the Pension department Christopher Obey and Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa, who was commissioner for Compensation Department in the same ministry.
“Mr Matovu asked me to process the money and we signed a memorandum where they agreed that 15% of the awarded money to pensioners should be shared in equal percentages as instruction fees before he embarked on the process of recovering the said money from government as per his obligation in the said agreement,” Kasango told court.
He further told court that using his networking, he wrote letters to several government officials including Justice Minister Kahinda Otafiire until the payment matter was settled by Public service Ministry which made in eight installments to his firm’s account in Barclays Bank even though it had changed names from Hall and partners to Marble Firm.
Court heard that the only co-accused he met in the process of seeking out payment was Obey because the Finance ministry had forwarded the matter to him to effect payment of the pensioners’ cash.
Prosecution accuses Kasango of several corruption charges including theft, forgery of a judicial document to steal Shs15.4 billion of pension money and conspiracy to commit a crime.
In the same, another accused person, Kunsa who is currently serving a five-year- jail term in another pension case, told court that during that period, he was employed as director research and development so he did not involve himself in the pension cash payment.
The case was adjourned to Wednesday for further hearing of Mr Kasango’s defence.
The Shs15.4b was allegedly diverted to the account of Kasango’s Marble law firm by the three co-accused as legal fees instead of a different city law firm which had won the case of 6,339 pensioners who sued government for non-payment of their pension.
According to Prosecution, the money was meant for payment of the pensioners but not legal fees. Besides, it was diverted to Kasango’s law firm as legal fees yet it did not represent the pensioners in the case against government.
Prosecution also says the diverted money was meant for pension and gratuity of the pensioners.