Former Electoral Commission boss pleads guilty to embezzlement

Former Kumi district Electoral Commission registrar has pleaded guilty to embezzlement of sh31.5m that was meant to facilitate the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Dennis Budali on Wednesday appeared before Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu and admitted having embezzled the funds. He also pleaded guilty to the charge of false accounting by a public officer.

State attorney Thomas Okoth from the Inspectorate of Government informed the court that they had entered into plea bargaining with Budali and he agreed to refund the money.

Plea bargaining is an arrangement between the prosecutor and defendant in criminal matters, where the defendant pleads guilty for a lenient sentence.

 Okoth also tendered in court a plea bargaining form with Budali’s signature, which the Chief Magistrate endorsed. Embezzlement is contrary to section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 and attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years on conviction.

False accounting by a public officer is contrary to section 22 of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 and elicits three years on conviction.

The Chief Magistrate sentenced Budali to a fine of sh3m and ordered him to refund the money o regain his freedom.