Makindye Grade II magistrate John Okiipi has today remanded former Minister Sam Bitangaro and three other people to Luzira Prison for alleged embezzlement and fraud.
The three others are lawyer Francis Owor Onyango, William Tumwine, an official from the Ministry of Gender and his wife Stella Kakuba who were charged with seven counts resulting from a land deal between them and Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society Limited.
According to the State House Anti-Graft UUnit, the accused reportedly obtained up to 3 billion Shillings to provide land for resettlement of the cooperative society after their eviction from Luwunga central government reserve in Kiboga district in 2013. The payment was provided by the Ugandan government and Oxfam international, through the National Forestry Authority.
The land, measuring up to 19 square miles in Bukompe Village, Kassanda district, would later be claimed by businessman Abid Alam and controversy ensued when Alam sent graders to open access roads in the area, destroying all properties within.
Abid Alam, also the proprietor of Mityana Farm Enterprises told the just-concluded commission of enquiry into land matters, that he had paid more than 200 million Shillings to secure the land in question and that he bought the land from Sam Bitangaro, Andrew Rugasira, Abasi Kajoba Mawanda, and one Dr Mbonye.
This would later be picked up by the State House anti-corruption Unit, headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema leading to the arrest of Bitangaro today. The accused were arraigned before Okiipi who subsequently remanded them without taking a plea until January 6 when they return to Court.
The accused's lawyer Julius Galisonga expressed dissatisfaction at the manner in which the case was handled arguing that the events were rushed in order to deny his clients an opportunity to make their case.