Kanungu civil servants remanded for Forgery

KANUNGU

The Grade one Magistrate court in Kanungu has remanded six civil servants of Kanungu district local government on accusations of alleged forgery and utterance of false academic documents.

The suspects are; Alfred Mwesigye, 53, a teacher at Kambuga senior secondary school and a resident of Kanungu district, Samson Kisekka, 30, a teacher at Kihihi high school and a resident of Kanungu district, and Happines Byaruhanga ,41, bursar at Nyamirama seed school and a resident of Rukungiri district.

Others are Fred Ssenkayi, 32, an instructor at Nyakatare technical institute in the department of agriculture and a resident of Wakiso district and his assistant Grace Zawedde ,44, a resident of Kayunga district, and Felix Okori ,39, an assistant instructor in the department of building and construction at the same institute and a resident of Lira district.

These officials were arrested on Friday last week and detained at Kanungu police station on orders of Ministry of Education and Sports, the office of Kanungu Chief Administrative Officer and State House Anti-Corruption Unit. They had recently been discovered by the Ministry of Education and Sports to have submitted forged certificates to be employed.

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The suspects acquired jobs using fake academic documents over a period between 10 and 20 years ago.

On Thursday this week at around 05:10 PM, the suspects were paraded before grade one magistrate’s court in Kanungu town and charged with forgery of official documents contrary to section 349 of the penal code act, uttering a false document contrary to 351 of the penal code acts.

Charge sheets that our reporter accessed indicated that the suspects were also accused of forging appointments and posting letters on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Sports to school heads to allow them to be posted.

Jonathan Bwagi of Bwagi and Company Advocates applied for bail for Kiseka, Mwesigye, and Happiness after each of them presented two sureties. Bwagi argued that the case that the suspects committed is worthy of granting a court bail.  He also argued that because the suspects have been in detention since Friday last week, they deserve bail.

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Peter Muhindo, the State prosecutor asked the court to remand the suspect on condition that investigations into the matter are ongoing, and once they are released on bail, the process (of investigations) may be jeopardized.

Zawede, Okori, and Ssenkayi failed to produce sureties.   Athanas Mukobi, Kanungu Grade One Magistrate remanded the suspects to Kanungu government prison until November 17 this year. Mukobi says that in the next sitting, he will give a ruling on the bail application.

All the suspects remained silent when asked by our reporter to say something about the matter.   A state house official attached to the Anti-corruption unit who attended a court session but declined to reveal his name told our reporter that there are about 700 similar cases across the country.

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He said that as a result, the government has lost more than a billion shillings in paying such civil servants who used forged academic documents yet other Ugandans with genuine credentials are on the streets jobless.

 

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