Embattled Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Sylvia Ntambi Muwebwa has on Thursday appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court to answer charges of corruption.
Ntambi who spent a greater part of Wednesday at the Directorate of Public Prosecution was summoned recently by the court’s chief magistrate, Pamela Lamunu Ocaya who warned that a warrant of arrest would be issued if the accused fails to turn up in court for the third time to answer the charges.
“I hereby extend criminal summons against Muhebwa for the last time. Should she fail to appear on October 29, a warrant of arrest shall be issued,” Ocaya warned after Ntambi’s lawyer MacDosman Kabega presented medical documents from Medik Hospital indicating that she was suffering from hypertension.
Ntambi and the nine employees of the commission face 25 counts of causing financial loss, conspiracy to defraud, embezzlement, corruption, and abuse of office.
A whistleblower complaint filed before the President’s Office lifted the lid on the current troubles at the Equal Opportunities Commission, with Ntambi, now facing the charges too.
Ntambi, was last month added to the charge sheet as A10 before the Anti-Corruption Court in the case where nine other officials of the commission have been undergoing trial, charged with defrauding the government of millions of shillings.
She was charged in absentia in the Anti-Corruption Court on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.
The Director of Public Prosecutions added Ntambi to the charge sheet that already has Mujuni Mpitsi, the Secretary to the Commission; Olwor Sunday Nicholas, the Undersecretary; Moses Mugabe, a Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Byangire Harriet, a Senior Accountant. Others are: Edith Kamahoro, a Senior Personal Secretary; Kwesiga Ronnie, an Accounts Assistant; Jjemba Evans, the Principle Compliance Officer; Kwihangana Manasseh, a Senior Compliance Officer and Sarah Nassanga an Office Attendant. All the 9 officials were charged before the same court last month and have been undergoing trial.
According to the charge sheet signed by Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecution, Ntambi, Mugabe, Mpitsi and Jemba conspired to defraud the government of sh35,002,000. The prosecution alleges that the accused claimed the money to undertake an audit exercise of the Rural Electrification Programme in Uganda which activity is said to have not taken place.
It also alleged that Ntambi between July 2018 and April 2019 at the Equal Opportunities Commission offices in Kampala District, as the chairperson, neglected her duty of directing the affairs and administration of the Commission, thereby leading to gross mismanagement of the Commission Funds.
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