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Court Withdraws Prof Baryamureeba's Criminal Summons :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Court Withdraws Prof Baryamureeba's Criminal Summons

Buganda Road Court has this evening withdrawn criminal summons against Makerere University Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, over a fraud complaint recently lodged against him.

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Buganda Road Court has this evening withdrawn criminal summons against Makerere University Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, over a fraud complaint recently lodged against him.

The court says it does not see a prima facie case against the vice chancellor and that the matter should be further investigated.

Professor Baryamureeba had been accused of mismanaging 170,000 Euros, approximately 518 million shillings, from the Dutch government offered to Makerere University. The money was part of a grant for payment of tuition fees for 20 PhD students under the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education project.

The criminal summons was withdrawn by Chief Magistrate Silvia Nabaggala.

While withdrawing the summons, Nabaggala noted that the private complaint lodged by Makerere University Academic Staff Association chairman, Dr Fredrick Tanga Odoi against Baryamureeba, was lacking in so many aspects and that as such, it could not be kept in court.

Nabaggala concurred with the submissions of Baryamureeba’s lawyer, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi that the complaint was lacking in so many aspects.

She noted that the complainant failed to attach the audit report among others and she directed that further investigations be carried out by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The magistrate also ordered Dr Odoi to hand over relevant documents to the DPP that could help him investigate the matter.

Shortly after the ruling, Dr Odoi vowed not to give up the fight against what he called corruption in Makerere University before castigating the court for ruling against its earlier ruling.

He described the ruling as a misjudgment of a judgment, arguing that the same court had earlier ruled that the DPP had no power to take over the complaint since it was premature.

He noted that the magistrate has ruled against her own ruling, claiming that they wanted to remove the summons as they were to affect his race for the vice chancellorship. Baryamureeba, who has been acting since 2009, is among those currently in the substantive vice chancellor.

Dr Odoi in his complaint had claimed that whereas the Dutch government disbursed the scholarship funds, it was never used to pay tuition as required under the project since at least a dozen of the would-be beneficiaries had been granted fees waivers by a March 4, 2008 CIT faculty meeting that Prof. Baryamureeba reportedly chaired.

Prof. Baryamureeba, then dean of the Faculty of Computing and Information Technology in 2009, was the overall coordinator of the project that formally wound up on May 31, last year.

Today’s ruling comes barely two weeks after the very court snubbed the DPP from taking over the case, saying it was premature as there was nothing for him to take over.

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