Uganda drops graft charges against ex-VP

2011-11-04 19:43
Kampala - Uganda on Friday withdrew all corruption charges against former vice-president Gilbert Bukenya, ending one of the country's highest-profile graft cases, officials said.

Bukenya, who was sacked in May, was facing two charges of abuse of office and one charge of fraud over accusations that he profited from a $3.7m deal to supply vehicles for use in the 2007 Commonwealth summit in Kampala.

The Inspectorate General of Government, mainly tasked to tackle graft, said it was dropping the charges because a vehicle dealer which lost the 2007 bid was suing the government over the tender.

"They have withdrawn all the charges against Bukenya ... We have decided to discontinue the case," Ali Munira, a spokeswoman for the Inspectorate General of Government, told AFP.

She said that the government watchdog could revisit the case at a later date and decide to bring fresh charges against Bukenya.

Bukenya, who was briefly sent to jail last month, was the first government minister to face trial over corruption surrounding the Commonwealth meeting.

Last month three ministers, including foreign minister Sam Kutesa, stepped down after they were charged with fraud over a $4.8 million deal to refurbish a hotel for the summit.

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