Health workers charged over Forgery of vaccination cards

HOIMA – The Hoima Grade One Magistrate’s Court has charged two health workers and one Office Messenger attached to Butema Health Centre III in Buhanika sub-county, Hoima district with forgery and conspiracy.

The three suspects appeared in Grade One Magistrate Court presided over by Her Worship, Esther Asiimwe on Wednesday evening after spending nights in police cells.

The accused include; Emmanuel Onyor, a Medical Assistant, Rhoda Aheebwa the In-charge of the Health facility and Ivan Bigirwa, the Office Messenger.

Prosecution led Julius Oncheng, told court on December 30, 2021, that the three and others still at large connived to sell forged COVID-19 Vaccination Cards to unvaccinated Ugandan Citizens.

Last week, detectives from Hoima Police Station arrested Bigirwa the Office Messenger as he was selling the vaccination cards to unvaccinated persons at Hoima Boma grounds.

Bigirwa told police, they were selling the cards between Shs50,000 to Shs100,000. On interrogation, Bigirwa is alleged to have confessed that he had connived with some staff at Butema Health Centre III to have the cards sold.

According to a police source, Bigirwa was arrested on Thursday 30th December last year while the two health workers were arrested on Tuesday 4th 2022.

While appearing before court, the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges. After several submissions from the Prosecution and the Defence lawyers, Aron Baryabanza of Baryabanza and Company Advocates, Magistrate Asiimwe granted the accused bail and adjourned the case to February 9, 2022.

The magistrate granted Onyor and Aheebwa a cash bail of Shs 500,000 each; while the suspect Bigirwa was given cash bail of Shs 200,000. Their sureties Onyor and Aheebwa respectively were given a non-cash bail of Shs 2m each while the ones of Bigirwa were given non-cash bail of Shs1m.

Counsel Baryabanza commended the court for granting his clients bail adding that it was going to be a violation of their constitutional right if court had denied them the bail as Prosecution demanded.

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