Mukula challenges sentence- Applies for bail
23rd, January 2013
Soroti Municipality MP Capt. Mike Mukula, who was convicted last week, has applied for bail pending appeal against a four-year jail sentence handed to him. Mukula who is now in Luzira Prison was convicted by the Anti-corruption Court for diverting 210 million shillings of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), now known as the GAVI Alliance.
Capt. Mike Mukula�s lawyers � Muwema-Mugerwa and Co. Advocates and Tibaijuka Ateenyi Advocates say they have already filed a notice of appeal in the Court of Appeal, pending the bail application.
Mukula has also instructed them to review the law on the loss of the parliamentary seat upon conviction of an MP.
In their intended appeal, Capt. Mukula�s lawyers argue that there was no substantial evidence to show that he diverted the immunization money for private gain. They intend to appeal both the conviction and the four year sentence.
On Thursday last week, the High Court Anti-Corruption Division found the former junior Health minister guilty of embezzling 210 million shillings of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), now known as the GAVI Alliance. But the Soroti Municipality MP claimed that the ruling was politically-motivated, partly because his three co-accused were exonerated.
Indeed claims of selective prosecution have been made repeatedly since Capt. Mukula was convicted.
Interestingly, the critics don�t say whether he did not commit a crime. His co-accused � former Health Minister Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi, his former deputy Dr Alex Kamugisha and former State house aide Alice Kaboyo were cleared of the charges last year. Court ordered Kaboyo to pay a 20 million shilling fine after she pleaded guilty.
In Mukula�s Soroti Municipality constituency, his aggrieved supporters reportedly set ablaze membership cards of the ruling NRM party in anger. After he was sentenced last Friday, Mukula�s supporter�s protested at the court premises, saying he was being persecuted for being independent minded and ambitious. Mukula is the NRM Vice chairman for the east