Court cancels Jamwa bail, returns him to Luzira

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David Chandi Jamwa

High Court on Friday cancelled former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director, David Chandi Jamwa’s bail and sent him back to Luzira prison.

Jamwa who continues serving his 12-year sentence for causing a financial loss of Shs3.1bn to government had appealed the sentence.

In their ruling, three of the five justices on the panel said that they did not find any merit in Jamwa’s grounds of appeal and dismissed it.

Jamwa had argued that the Court of Appeal delivered its judgement without the requisite quorum.

Justices Eldad Mwangusya, Lillian Tibatemwa and Paul Mugamba said they found the appellant’s (Jamwa) sentence of 12 years imprisonment for causing financial loss contrary to section 20 of the Anti-Corruption Act imposed by the trial court and confirmed by the Court of Appeal a legal sentence.

“After re-evaluation of the mitigating factors for the appellant, we find that the Court of Appeal legally sentenced the appellant to four years imprisonment for the offense of abuse of office. As a result, having found that all the grounds of appeal failed, this appeal is hereby dismissed. We uphold the decision of the Court of Appeal,” they are quoted by Daily Monitor as saying.

The justices ruled that a judge who has appended a signature on a judgement loses the right to change their mind as soon as they cease to be on the court.

“Justice Rubby Opio-Aweri lost the authority to alter the judgement as soon as he appended his signature to the judgement before he ceased to be a justice of the Court of Appeal which he is bounded to,” they ruled.

They further ruled that the then deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma who at the time of retirement had neither appended his signature on the judgement that was in place nor authored an independent judgement lost the authority since he ceased being a Justice of the Court.

Only two justices Esther Kisaakye and Jotham Tumwesigye ruled that the judgement delivered by Justice Kenneth Kakuru of Court of Appeal was illegal thus the case should go back to the Court of Appeal to correct the errors made.

“When a judge dies or vacates court for whatever reasons, he or she is no longer possessed of the jurisdiction to deliver a judgement of court and if he or she cannot do so, neither can another person do so on his behalf,” the two justices ruled.

Jamwa was found guilty of causing Shs 3.1 billion financial loss to NSSF in February 2011 by the Anti-Corruption court when he prematurely sold treasury bonds to defunct Crane Bank while he was the managing director.

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