KAMPALA – Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Secretary Mabiiho Patrick Nyakana has been charged with embezzlement in connection with the theft of millions of Shillings of government money.
Mr Nyakana appeared before the Anti-corruption Court at Kololo for plea taking and denied corruption related accusations.
The court was presided over by Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ocaya who granted Mr Nyakana a cash bail of UGX 5 million and ordered him to deposit his passport in court while each of his three sureties was given a non-cash bond at UGX 50 million.
The court has issued criminal summons against Mr Nyakana after he missed a session on June 12.
Ms Ocaya extended the case to August 16 for mention after the state submission that investigations into the case were still ongoing.
Mr Nyakana is jointly charged with five other senior officials, among them principal human rights officers and an accountant over offences of alleged abuse of office, embezzlement and conspiracy to defraud.
They are Acting Director in charge of regional services Mr Wilfred Muganga Asiimwe, Mr Tadeo Wamala (Accountant), Ms Rebecca Nassuna (regional human rights officer for Jinja), Mr Willy Agirembabazi (Central region) and Ms Rebecca Agnes Tino in charge of Hoima.
The suspects are under investigation by the police following complaints lodged with State House Anti-Corruption Unit relating to embezzlement of Shs100 million.
It is alleged that the money meant for official activities was irregularly dispersed to the private accounts of the heads of Kampala, Jinja, Hoima, and Mbarara regional offices from where it was withdrawn and embezzled.
Mr Nyakana appeared before the Kololo based Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate, Ms Pamela Lamunu Ocaya and he denied the accusations.
The state alleges that between November 27 and 30, 2018 at the UHRC offices in Kampala, Mr Asiimwe, Mr Nyakana and Mr Wamala in abuse of the authority of their offices requisitioned, processed paid UGX 25 million to a personal account Rose Atim purporting the funds to be meant for activities of Mbarara Human rights regional office whereas not.
It is alleged that another Shs25 million was requisitioned, processed and paid to the personal account of Ms Tino purporting it be meant for Hoima Regional office, another Shs25 million sent to the personal account of Ms Nassuna purporting it to be for Jinja office and Shs25 million was allegedly sent to Mr Agirembabazi purporting it to be for the Central region whereas not.
The state alleges that between November and December 2018, Mr Asiimwe stole Shs40 million, Ms Tino stole Shs5 million, ms Nassuna stole Shs5 million while Mr Agirembabazi stole Shs5 million.
The prosecution alleges that Mr Asiimwe, Mr Nyakana and Mr Wamala conspired to defraud the government of Uganda of Shs100 million.
The UHRC officials are some of the senior government officials under probe by the Anti-Corruption Unit of State House headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema in regard to abuse of office, causing financial loss and embezzlement.
Other officials include those from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), districts technical and political heads as well as government workers arrested in corruption-related crimes including soliciting and or accepting gratifications.