Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Anti-Corruption Court has declined to issue a warrant of arrest against Kawempe South Member of Parliament Mubarak Munyagwa for shunning criminal summons.
Court presided over by the Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu declined to grant the request made by the State Prosecutor Alice Komuhangi. Komuhangi told court that for the previous two court sessions Munyagwa has not appeared in court to take plea of charges where he is accused of receiving 176 million shillings bribe.
It is alleged that in December 2014, Munyagwa who was by then a Mayor of Kawempe Division at Haks Investment Limited and Industrial areas in Kampala solicited the money in question from Francis Kakumba on behalf of his son Isaac Muyanja.
Munyagwa was reportedly going to use his political influence to nominate Muyanja as a member of Kampala City Land Board representing Kawempe Division. It is alleged that the money was meant to bribe councillors to vote Muyanja.
However, since February 2019, when Munyagwa was summoned, he has not appeared at Court to take plea.
Komuhangi had asked court to issue a warrant of arrest against Munyagwa for defying court summons.
However, Munyagwa lawyer Erias Lukwago asked court to dismiss the request. He said that his client was reportedly unwell.
Lukwago presented to court documents alleging that Munyagwa is reportedly battling malaria and backache.
Lukwago told Court that on March 27th, Munyagwa appeared in court and the case didn’t proceed on grounds that Komuhangi was reportedly in South Africa.
Lamunu supported Lukwago’s argument and said that Munyagwa was last time in court when the Prosecutor was absent.
Meanwhile, the application where MP Munyagwa wants Court to block this same trial has not been heard at the Anti-Corruption Court.
Munyagwa through his lawyer Erias Lukwago on March, 20th, 2019 filed an application seeking to block the trial on grounds that it was instituted in bad faith by the Director of Public Prosecution.
Munyagwa alleges that Kakumba on February 11th, 2019 wrote to the DPP, Justice Mike Chibita showing that he had lost interest in the case but the DPP maliciously continued with the matter.
But the application has also not been heard by Lamunu following the request by the State Prosecutor Komuhangi saying that it should be heard in the presence of Munyagwa.
Komuhangi said that Munyagwa needs to be present such that he can be cross-examined over the allegations in his application.
The Magistrate has now adjourned both matters to May 6th, 2019.