In Summary

Dr Tiberius Muhebwa and three others are accused of causing a financial loss of over Shs108 million to the Ministry of Health Global Fund project.

The corruption case against former Global Fund project coordinator Tiberius Muhebwa has been referred to the Constitutional Court for interpretation of contentious issues he raised.

Dr Muhebwa, who oversaw the Project Management Unit (PMU), faces charges of causing a financial loss of over Shs108m to the Ministry of Health when he “deliberately sold off Global Fund dollars to DFCU bank in unfavorable rate than what Stanbic Bank had offered.”

Dr Muhebwa is indicted along with three others; Kampala City advocate Grace Kituuma Magala and two former DFCU bank staff Godfrey Lule, the then head of treasury, and Robert Katuntu, the then managing director.

The suspects yesterday appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court to take their plea.
However, their lawyers MacDosman Kabega, Blaze Babigumira, Fred Muwema, Nsubuga Mubiru and Oscar Kahika raised objections and questioned the powers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP) to prosecute them.

“This matter is up for plea taking but there are some pertinent, legal and constitutional issues regarding the accused persons that need to be determined by the Constitutional Court before they can plead to the charges,” Mr Kabega told the presiding Grade One Magistrate Sarah Langa.

Lawyer Babigumira submitted that Dr Muhebwa cannot enter plea as he is challenging the Ogoola Commission report findings before the High Court.

The Ogoola Commission, which was headed by the former Principal Judge James Ogoola, investigated the mismanagement of the Global Fund meant to fight HIV/Aids, TB and malaria.

Commission findings
Among its findings, the commission recommended that Dr Muhebwa be investigated and prosecuted for fraudulent foreign exchange transactions.
But according to Dr Muhebwa, the commission was unfair to him because it did not accord him a fair hearing to give his side of the story, which he states as unconstitutional.

Mr Kabega argued that the DPP cannot prosecute Mr Kituuma after DFCU bank entered into a consent judgment and signed a decree accepting that indeed it owed him money for the brokerage services he rendered to the bank before discharging him.

Lawyers Muwema and Nsubuga, who represented the former bank officials, argued that the DPP cannot prefer charges of abuse of office against their clients since government never had any shares in the bank during the time of the alleged crime.