The High court has blocked the trial of Kawempe South member of parliament, Mubarak Munyagwa for alleged corruption in the Anti-corruption court.
The assistant registrar of the High court civil division, Joy Kabagye issued the interim order following an application filed by Munyagwa's lawyers led by Nathan Mpejje.
"An interim order issues to the respondent (attorney general), his servants, and or his agents and all those claiming under him to maintain the status quo until miscellaneous application number 375 of 2019 is heard and disposed of," reads the order in part.
In his application, Mpejje argued that the directorate of public prosecutions (DPP) instituted the charges against his client in bad faith, arguing that the charges date way back in 2014 when Munyagwa hadn’t yet joined parliament.
Prosecution alleges that in December 2014, while serving as the Kawempe division mayor, Munyagwa solicited a bribe of Shs 100 million from Francis Kakumba so as to nominate his son, Isaac Muyanja for appointment to the Kampala District Land Board.
It is also alleged that in the same month, Munyagwa obtained Shs 76 million and an additional Shs 4 million meant for getting Muyanja a post on the Land Board. However, when the DPP instituted the charges in February 2019, Munyagwa petitioned the civil division of High court and the Anti-corruption court seeking to block his trial.
He argued that the DPP instituted the charges in bad faith because the said crime was allegedly committed five years ago. Munyagwa also presented letters indicating that the complainant had lost interest in the case, saying there was no need to try him.
Whereas the Anti-corruption court dismissed Munyagwa's application on September 23, 2019, on grounds that criminal cases are not instituted by individuals but the state, High court interim order has been granted pending the hearing of the main case. Munyagwa was expected to appear before the Anti-corruption court on Monday to plead to the charges. But his lawyers appeared with a November 1, 2019 High court order blocking the trial.
State prosecutor Alice Komuhangi had already asked the chief magistrate Pamela Lamunu to issue an arrest warrant for the legislator for shunning court several times. But after looking at the order, the magistrate halted the trial pending the disposal of the application.