The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nebbi District has remanded Grade II Magistrate Peter Kercan Prosper to Koch Prison on charges of stealing money meant for community compensation.
The court heard that Kercan was mediating a land conflict between the Ministry of Defence and 67 community members in Angal. This conflict was related to damages caused by UPDF in 2003. However, instead of delivering the compensation money of Shs402 million to the community, Kercan allegedly swindled it.
The prosecution claims that Kercan received the money from the Ministry of Defence but failed to give it to the community members. As a result, the community had to seek justice through the courts.
Although Kercan has the right to apply for bail, the court couldn’t grant it due to the absence of the Resident State Attorney. He has been remanded until October 13, 2023, when a bail hearing is scheduled.
One of the complainants, Justine Ongirea, explained that the community filed a civil suit against the government in 2004 over property damages caused by UPDF. They won the case but entrusted Kercan with the money, which he allegedly diverted for his own benefit. Many community members who were waiting for compensation have passed away, leaving the survivors hoping for justice.
Kercan expressed regret in court and suggested resolving the matter outside of court with substantial sureties. However, his fate now depends on the upcoming bail hearing.
In 2017, while serving as Nabweru Grade Two Magistrate, Kercan Peter Prosper, was suspended from work for refusing a transfer from the city to a rural duty station in Kiboga.
The suspension was imposed by Chief Registrar Paul Gadenya, who cited insubordination under the Public Service Orders as the reason for the action.
In a letter, Gadenya reminded Kercan of the transfer notice issued on May 9, 2017, which he had declined. When Kercan failed to comply with the transfer by June 30, 2017, Gadenya found him in violation of the Uganda Public Service Commission Regulations.
As a result of his refusal to accept the posting, Kercan was interdicted. During this period, he will receive half pay and is not permitted to leave the country without permission from Gadenya.