Former NSSF Boss David Jamwa Among 13 Prisoners Granted Presidential Pardon

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President Yoweri Museveni has granted pardons to 13 prisoners, including former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) boss David Jamwa.

Jamwa, who was serving a 12-year sentence for causing financial losses of over Shs 3 billion, has been behind bars at Luzira Prisons since 2011.

The other 12 individuals receiving pardons have sentences ranging from three to twenty years, with the majority convicted of defilement.

Uganda Prison Services spokesperson Frank Baine confirmed the news, stating that they have received the President’s letter and are preparing to release the prisoners according to his legal prerogative of mercy.

The decision to pardon Jamwa has sparked mixed reactions across Uganda. Some view it as a sign of leniency towards powerful figures, while others believe it reflects the President’s commitment to public health and humanitarian considerations.

Jamwa’s case gathered significant attention, including his mother, Tezira Jamwa, who was a former member of the Constituent Assembly and Woman MP for Tororo, and his lawyer, who appealed to the President for leniency because he was thought to be the best accountants of his time

President Museveni’s pardon power stems from Article 121 (4) (a) of the 1995 Constitution, which allows him to reduce or absolve the sentences of convicted individuals.

This prerogative of mercy demonstrates the President’s ability to directly intervene in the criminal justice system, even in high-profile cases like Jamwa’s.

While the specifics of each prisoner’s case and the exact reasons for their pardons remain undisclosed, this act highlights the breadth of the President’s influence within the Ugandan justice system. It also raises questions about the potential for inconsistency and bias in the application of presidential pardons.

The release of Jamwa and the other 12 prisoners is likely to spark further debate in Uganda.

While some may see the act as a compassionate gesture, others will undoubtedly demand greater transparency and accountability in the exercise of the presidential prerogative of mercy since Jamwa was never ordered to refund the money that NSSF lost in the sale of bonds.

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