President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has pardoned 13 convicts including the Ex-Managing Director of National Social Security Fund -NSSF who has been serving a 12-year jail term handed to him for causing government a financial loss of 3 billion shillings.
Others pardoned are Vincent Ntale, Nelson Drabo , James Omirambe , Samuel Aliama, Francis Leku, Joseph Kabila, Yoha Ayita, alias Samu , Fred Kato, Jackson Owino, Zakaria Okello, Nono Joseph, Ouma Mesach John alias Jojmabo.
The convicts have been serving sentences ranging between three and 20 years imprisonment.
The Spokesperson of the Uganda Prison services Frank Baine has told Uganda Radio Network on phone that they have already received the President’s letter pardoning the said convicts and that they are preparing to release them accordingly because the President has prerogative of mercy under the law.
“In accordance with Article 121 (4) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, H.E the President has granted pardon to a total of 13 prisoners on public health and humanitarian grounds”, reads the statement from the Prisons.
Jamwa has been serving a 12-year jail sentence for causing a financial loss to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Jamwa was indicted by the High Court on two counts of abuse of office and causing financial loss contrary to the Anti-Corruption Act 2009. He was tried and convicted of the offense of causing financial loss but was acquitted of the offense of abuse of office. He was then sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and barred from holding any public office for a period of 10 years serving the sentence.
The then Anti-corruption Court Judge, John Bosco Katutsi did not however order Jamwa to refund the three billion shillings that the fund lost in the sale of bonds. The court held the state did not prove that Jamwa benefited from the financial loss.
His woes arose from confirmation that NSS and Jamwa’s leadership sold NSSF bonds to the now-defunct Crane Bank before their maturity. He appealed to the Court of Appeal against the conviction and sentence. The attorney General also appealed to the Court Appeal against the acquittal.
The two appeals were consolidated by the Court of Appeal. His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed. He was instead sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for the offence of abuse of office which was to run concurrently with the 12 years imposed by the trial judge for the offence of causing financial loss. Jamwa had after running out of other options resorted to serving the sentence.
His mother, Tezira Jamwa, a former Member of the Constituent Assembly and Woman MP for Tororo and other political figures from Tororo and Jophadhola tribe appealed to President Museveni to pardon.
Lawyer, Asuman Odaka, who in March 2021 wrote a letter to President Museveni asking him to pardon Jamwa confirmed that he had seen the letter written by the President pardoning David Chandi Jamwa and nine others.
Odaka confirmed to URN that Museveni’s instrument of pardon was received by the Attorney General and was about to be communicated to the Commissioner General of Prisons who is supposed to effect the President’s pardon. The seemingly excited Odaka that he met David Jamwa on Wednesday and informed him of the good news from the President.
“We really pushed so hard for David to be released. I thank President Museveni that he finally answered our prayers. David will be out of Prison within a matter of hours said” Odaka. On 9th March 2021, Odaka to wrote to Museveni asking that Davdi Chandi Jamwa should be pardoned through Article 121 of the constitution which provides for the Prerogative of mercy.
He used that letter to refer Museveni to the Jophadola proverb which States that It states “ogwang luli nywangini gi’omerini”. It can be loosely translated as “a wild beast should better find you with your brother”. The key message was that you can protect each other in moments of need
“Unfortunately, many Jopadhola will conveniently find relevance in it mostly when it’s to benefit them, thereby negating the concept enshrined therein – that Chandi was a father to many fatherless children, his hands were open to assist, remains a brother to many, and a very resourceful citizen to the nation, and I can argue that his freedom will add value to this country’s economic, cultural and social development,” said Odaka.
In April 2020, President Museveni pardoned 833 prisoners across the country. David Chandi Jamwa’s friends and relatives had hoped that he would be part of that lot but his name did not appear on that list.
A prominent politician from Tororo told URN that they once met the President after he had pardoned the former PS at Public Service Jimmy Lwamfa. The president was reportedly surprised that David Chandi Jamwa was still in jail. This time around, Jamwa’s name was top on the list of those pardoned by the President.
Others include, Ntale Vincent, Drabo Nelson, Omirambe James, Joseph Kabila, Leku Francis, Aliama Samuel, Yoha Ayitia , Kato Fred, Okelo Zacharia and Owino Jackson, and John Mesach Ouma Most of those who have been pardoned alongside James were reportedly serving sentences related to defilement.