Embattled president of the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) Sarah Babirye Kityo has been remanded to Luzira prison by the Anti-Corruption court on charges of false accounting of Shs 186 million.
Babirye was today Thursday arraigned before the grade one magistrate Christopher Opito. She denied the charges. The court heard that Babirye and others still at large, between the months of November and December 2021 while at the UNF office in Kampala made false accounting of Shs 186,374,110 with intentions to defraud.
According to the prosecution, the money was released by the National Council of Sports (NCS) to the federation for the Pent Series and African National Championship in Namibia. State attorney Gloria Inzikuru said that inquiries are still ongoing and asked for an adjournment to allow her to finalize investigations. Babirye has always maintained that the NCS general secretary released only Shs 186 million but instead asked her to account for Shs 425 million.
Through her lawyers; Joseph Luzige and Joshua Byamazima, Babirye applied for bail saying that she has a fixed place of residence within the jurisdiction of the court. Her lawyers told the court that although the DPP describes Babirye in her records as the former UNF president, she still holds the position.
The lawyers argued that she would attend trial as and when needed, and would not abscond from proceedings. The court heard that the charges are subject to many investigations by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Attorney General, Auditor General, and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and as such, she has not in any way run away.
Babirye presented her husband Daniel Ntare, director of Jodana Sports Management a licensed sports agent, Adam Kayira, director of Kingston High School Kawempe, and her sister Diana Tumukunde, a businesswoman with a hardware shop in Shauriyako in Kampala, as her sureties.
In response, prosecution objected to bail on grounds that the sureties presented, especially her husband had controversies regarding the place of residence since the records before the court show that Babirye is a resident of Maya while the husband is a resident of Lubaga yet they said that they have been staying together until the arrest of Babirye.
Inzikuru added that the other sureties have not ably identified the businesses they do for a court to ascertain if they have the financial capacity to stand surety and the charges against Babirye are serious in nature.
Further, Inzikuru asked for more time to verify the documents presented by two sureties, Babirye's husband whom the state wants to verify the certification of incorporation for his business, and then her sister Tumukunde whom the prosecution wants to verify her identity card showing that she is an employee of State House.
Babirye was remanded until tomorrow December 1 for further bail application hearing. Earlier in May, Babirye was remanded to Luzira Prison on charges of obtaining money by false pretense. It is alleged that Babirye and Zainab Namutebi and others still at large in the month of May 2022 in Kampala district obtained Shs 8 million from Sarah Wamala by falsely pretending that she was going to take her son to the United States.
It is also alleged that during the same time and place, the accused obtained another Shs 8 million from Gloria Kikomeko Nantambi whom they also defrauded that they would take her to the United States. But the duo has denied the charges against them.
Babirye who is the former Youth MP representing the Central Region was sent on forced leave from her office as the Uganda Netball Federation president to allow a special committee instituted by the minister of Sports and Education Janet Kataaha Museveni to investigate allegations of abuse of office and financial mismanagement.