Ugandan official gets 28 years for embezzling Aids money

A Ugandan court has sentenced a government official to 28 years in prison after finding him guilty of embezzling money from the Global Fund for tuberculosis, malaria and Aids, the national press reported on Thursday.

The high court judge found the 51-year-old director for economic monitoring in the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Teddy Seezi Cheeye, guilty of embezzlement and forgery involving an equivalent of $50 000.

He will, however, only serve 10 years of the sentence because the various sentences handed down to him run concurrently, according to the New Vision newspaper.

“In syphoning funds meant to alleviate and ease the suffering of the wretched of the earth—the victims of the scourge of HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria—into his own stomach, he is no better than a mass murderer, which in truth he is,” Judge John Bosco Katutsi said.

The Global Fund suspended aid to Uganda in 2005 after more than $43-million given to the country were diverted to other uses, embezzled or misappropriated by government bureaucrats and fake NGOs.

Several arrests of top government officials were carried out including that of the health minister and two of his deputies. They have yet to appear in court.—Sapa-dpa

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