The Supreme Court in Kampala has declined to release on bail, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government John Muhanguzi Kashaka who was convicted of causing financial loss of shs4.2 billion to the government in regard to the bungled procurement of 70,000 bicycles.
Kashaka together with five others were in 2014 sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Anti-Corruption Court for their roles in the botched purchase of LC one bicycles promoting him to run to the superior court for appeal.
He would later apply to be released on bail pending the determination of his appeal.
On Wednesday, Justice Lilian Tibwatemwa ruled that Kashaka had not proved that there was a chance of success of his appeal before the Supreme Court and therefore threw out his appeal.
The judge argued that since two lower courts ruled that Kashaka was guilty there is not so much hope for his appeal to succeed and therefore could not allow him released on bail.
“There must be exceptional circumstances for one to be granted bail but I must specifically point out that court must be careful while granting bail. These circumstances have not been proved,” Justice Tibatemwa ruled.
“I, therefore, decline to grant the application but what is called for is expeditiously hear the appeal.”
The judge ordered the court’s registrar to fix the appeal for hearing in the next convenient session of the Supreme Court.
Kashaka has now been returned to Luzira prison.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire in 2014 convicted Kashaka jointly with Henry Bamutura (former principal accountant); Robert Mwebaze (former principal procurement officer); Sam Emorutu Erongot (former assistant commissioner for policy and planning); Timothy Musherure (former consultant) and Adam Alum (a member of evaluation committee) but Mwebaze has since died.
On conviction, Justice Bamugemereire banned Kashaka from working in any public office for 10 years after serving his prison sentence and ordered him to refund a sixth of the Shs4.2 billion lost in the botched procurement deal.
“He (Kashaka) ought to have exercised a high level of diligence in managing public funds and should have known that signing the deal with Amani Industrial Tools Limited was going to cause financial loss to the government,” she noted.
Last year, three justices of the court of appeal including Elizabeth Musoke, Hellen Obura, and Christopher Madrama upheld Kashaka’s 10-year sentence prompting him to run to the Supreme Court.