16 January 2013

Uganda: Mayor Munyagwa Charged With Fraud

Kampala — Kawempe Mayor Mubarak Munyagwa has been charged after he obtained sh150,000 at City Hall Court in Kampala.

Trial judge Juliet Hatanga Tuesday charged Munyagwa with three counts at City Hall Court.

The charges are obtaining sh100,000 from Karim Nsubuga and another sh50,000 from Muhammad Kamwuku and also conspiring to commit a felony.

The mayor was charged together with Joseph Semwange, Shakira Namata and Bale Kaketo, who were arraigned before court, remanded and released on bail last month.

Mayor Munyagwa was arrested on Tuesday at Kalerwe, a Kampala suburb after court issued a warrant of arrest for him for defying criminal summons.

Prosecution says the accused fraudulently obtained sh100,000 from Nsubuga and sh50,000 from Kamwuku at KCCA in January last year after making promises to them.

The Kawempe mayor however pleaded not guilty of the offenses, saying that he did not defraud money from either complainant.

Munyagwa was granted bail after producing three substantial sureties in court. He was granted a cash bail of sh500,000 and sureties bonded at sh1m each (non-cash).

The sureties produced in court were Hammy Mukwaya, an area resident, Katumba Muzamil, an area LC1 chairman and Semidi Katumba, the personal assistant of the accused.

Judge Hatanga released the mayor on bail also basing on Counsel Athuma Basaalirwa's failure to contact the accused about the criminal summons.

"I had a different date recorded in my note book. That is why my client was not able to attend court on the previous court date," Basaalirwa added.

He said the mayor had a pending warrant of arrest for staging unlawful assembly and disobeying lawful orders and not of court summons.

State attorney Joyce Tushabe however rejected the bail.

She based the rejection on the criminal summons that were issued on July 4 last year, saying that it made it impossible for the police to serve him with the summons.

But the lawyer of the accused said that the mayor has a political responsibility at Kawempe division, and that he has six children to take care of.

He asked court to cancel the warrant of arrest in order to protect his client's image as the mayor of Kawempe.

The court criminal summons was adjourned to January, 19, 2013 for further hearing.

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