Former Kawempe South Member of Parliament (MP), Mubarak Munyagwa, and four other individuals have been remanded to Luzira Prison until June 12, 2023, following charges of malicious damage to property and conspiracy to commit a felony. The ruling was delivered by Chief Magistrate Doreen Karungi Olga at Kajjansi Chief Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Munyagwa and his co-accused are accused of unlawfully entering land owned by Dechomai Asset Trust Number Three LCC, a Ugandan company owned by an American, with the intention to cause annoyance to the company.
They are also alleged to have intentionally and unlawfully destroyed cassava worth Shs5 million, which belonged to Janan Opio, between May 26th, 2023, and June 3rd, 2023, in Mutungo Cell, Wakiso District.
On Tuesday, Munyagwa and the other individuals were arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit. They were promptly brought before the Kajjansi Chief Magistrates Court to face charges of criminal trespass, malicious damage, and conspiracy to commit a felony.
All the accused individuals have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Munyagwa, speaking to journalists, suggested that political motives may underlie the accusations. He maintained that he had purchased the disputed land for Shs1.2 billion and made installment payments.
The State Attorney, Charlotte Kwikiriza, informed the court that investigations into the case are still ongoing. Munyagwa’s legal team sought bail, but due to time constraints, they were advised to submit the bail application next week.
This is not the first time Munyagwa has been embroiled in land-related controversies. In 2017, he was involved in a legal dispute with the National Forestry Authority (NFA) concerning land ownership. The NFA contended that the disputed land, measuring over 20 acres and situated along the lakeshore, belonged to the NFA and was not available for private ownership. Additionally, in 2019, Munyagwa faced criminal summons from the Anti-Corruption Court on charges of soliciting a gratification of 100 million shillings from Francis Kakumba.
According to the prosecution, while serving as the Mayor of Kawempe Division in December 2014, Munyagwa allegedly demanded a bribe in exchange for his influence in securing Kakumba’s appointment as a member of the Kampala City Land Board. It was alleged that Munyagwa received USD 20,000 and an additional Shs4 million from Kakumba for the same purpose.
The current status of this case is unknown.