Kampala, Uganda | AFRICATEMBELEA | The Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi has been accused of frustrating the hearing of a case in which she is charged for allegedly embezzling 35 Million Shillings.
Ntambi was expected to take plea on Wednesday on two offences in which she is jointly charged with her assistants for conspiring to defraud the government.
This was revealed by the State Attorney James Khauka while appearing before the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ochaya.
Ntambi’s co-accused are Agnes Enid Kamahoro, Moses Mugabe, Mpitsi Mujuni Ronnie Kwesiga, Manasseh Kwihangana, Harriet Byangire, Evans Jjemba, Sarah Nassanga and Olwor Sunday Nicholas.
The prosecution alleges that Ntambi conspired with her subordinates to steal money which they accessed by the virtue of the different offices they held. The money was obtained between January and December 2018, as per diem for editing and drafting Equal Opportunities Commission HIV/AIDS workplace Policy, yet none of the officials was reportedly entitled to it.
The prosecution alleges that the per diem was acquired by Kamahoro, the Senior Personal Secretary Equal Opportunities Commission and later approved irregularly by Mujuni, the Secretary to the Commission, an act which caused financial loss to the government.
It is also alleged that part of the stolen funds had been earmarked for sensitization on equity and rights issues in lower local governments in Karamoja region.
But all the accused persons appeared in court in July 2019 and denied the charges with exception of Ntambi.
However, Ntambi’s lawyer MacDusman Kabega told the court presided over by the Chief Magistrate Lamunu that his client was reportedly unwell and currently admitted at Medik Hospital in Kawempe Division.
Kabega tendered before court documents indicating that Ntambi is suffering from hypertensive crisis, a severe increase in blood pressure and Migraine.
Court further heard that Kabega had interacted with the Doctor who told him that Ntambi requires regular observation from the medics and she couldn’t be able to turn up in court.
Kabega asked the court to extend criminal summons for Ntambi for about a month hoping that she will have recovered at that time.
Byangire, the Senior Accountant did not appear in court on grounds that she has a persistent headache, diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain and is currently admitted at Doctor’s Hospital. Byangire’s lawyer James Oluka told the court that doctors had reportedly advised her to be out of public as they monitor her condition.
However, the State Attorney James Khauka said investigations in the case were completed.
Khauka was concerned that Ntambi had not appeared in court twice which is delaying the trial from taking place.
Khauka also prayed that court issues a warrant of arrest for Ntambi as the state verifies her medical documents which he noted that they had inconsistencies.
However, the Magistrate agreed with Kabega and extended the criminal summons for Ntambi.
The Magistrate added however that should Ntambi fail to turn up in court next time, she will issue a warrant of arrest.
The case was later adjourned to October 29, 2020, for mention.