UGANDA (eTN) – Civil society activists and anti-corruption groups celebrated an intermediate victory yesterday when the Constitutional Court of Uganda handed down their verdict that former Vice President Dr. Gilbert Bukenya could after all be prosecuted by the Inspector General of Government and did not enjoy the privilege of immunity from prosecution as he had claimed. While it could not be immediately ascertained that a final pitch at the Supreme Court would be made to stem criminal prosecution, it can now be almost taken as a fact that the immediate former Vice President of Uganda will face court and stand trial over allegations made by the IGG of serious wrongdoings when procuring a fleet of posh vehicles for the summit in late 2007.
Other politicians and civil servants, too, are now likely to face similar cases, as the IGG apparently held off further indictments until the Constitutional Court had declared its position. A number of former ministers, permanent secretaries, and other senior staff were under investigation by the parliamentary committee looking into CHOGM expenditure but were at least there let off the hook when the plenary session of the last parliament dismissed the report of the committee. However, with President Museveni then running on an anticorruption platform during the end of February general election, the Inspector General of Government was using the powers of that office to initiate prosecutions, and, in fact, publicly locked horns with the president who had declared his former deputy had no case to answer.
Immediate former Minister of State for Tourism Serapio Rukundo is now also awaiting his fate as the IGG’s office is said to be in high gear preparing more cases to go to court.
The general public, suffering from runaway inflation, is generally in favor of “big shots” being prosecuted.