KAMPALA — After spending the weekend in Luzira Prison, the Makindye Chief Magistrates court has today January 6, 2020 granted bail to the former Gender Minister, Sam Bitangaro who is facing seven charges related to defrauding Government of UGX 3 billion bail.
Bitangaro appeared before chief magistrate Prossy Katushabe amidst tight security who granted him and his three co-accused a cash bail of UGX 7million each while their twelve sureties a non cash bond of UGX.200million.
They denied the seven counts slapped against them.
Bitangaro’s co-accused include; City lawyer John Francis Onyango Owor, William Tumwine the Officer in charge of Uganda Women Entrepreneurship at Ministry of Gender and his wife Stella Kakuba.
The group was remanded last week on Thursday by a grade two magistrate John Okipi for purposes of taking plea and applying for bail before a Cheif magistrate who is seized with jurisdiction to try such cases.
The release on bail followed applications filed by the suspect’s lawyers including Caleb Alaka and Peter Kabatsi who argued that the accused persons had a right to be released on bail since their offenses are bail able.
The lawyers argued that Bitangaro and Tumwine were of advanced age, and also have permanent places of aboard in Kampala like their co accused.
The accused persons are facing charges of defrauding Government of Shs 3 billion by selling to it a non-existing piece of land located in Kassanda and Gomba districts Which was meant to settle more than 2500 people who had earlier been evicted from Luwunga Central Forest Reserve in Kiboga District.
Prosecution alleges that on May 21st, 2014, at M/S and Company Advocates offices located in Bunga in Makindye Division, Bitangaro obtained Shs 1.3 billion from Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society Limited by false pretense. He reportedly pretended that he has good and marketable titled land measuring 492 hectares at Bukompe , Nalutuntu Subcounty in Kassanda District whereas not.
It is further alleged that on November 5th, 2014 the suspects conspired to fraudulently acquire land title comprising of Block, 308 plot 146 which they acquired by causing an irregular subdivision of plot 122 which was already sold to Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society Limited.
Prosecution states that Onyango is accused of issuing a false land inspection report for the land in question while court documents indicate that the role played by Tumwine and Kakuba in the fraud was to obtain UGX1.6 billion from Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society by pretending that they had good property at Degeya , Kasambya in Gomba where as not.