Former Kawempe South Member of Parliament, Mubarak Munyagwa, along with four other individuals, has been remanded to Luzira Prison on charges of malicious damage to property and conspiracy to commit a felony. The decision was made by Chief Magistrate Doreen Karungi Olga at Kajjansi Chief Magistrates Court.
Munyagwa and his co-accused are alleged to have unlawfully entered land owned by Dechomai Asset Trust Number Three LCC, a Ugandan company owned by an American, with the intent to annoy the company. They are also accused of willfully and unlawfully destroying cassava valued at 5 million Shillings, which belonged to Janan Opio, between May 26th, 2023, and June 3rd, 2023, in Mutungo Cell, Wakiso District.
All the accused individuals have denied the charges brought against them. Munyagwa maintained his innocence and suggests that political motives may be behind the accusations, asserting that he purchased the disputed land for 1.2 billion Shillings and paid in installments.
The State Attorney, Charlotte Kwikiriza, informed the court that inquiries into the case are still ongoing. Munyagwa’s lawyers attempted to apply for bail but were informed that the court had limited time, and they were advised to make the application next week. Consequently, the accused were remanded to prison until June 12th, 2023.
This is not the first time Munyagwa has been involved in land-related controversies.
In 2017, he was part of a lawsuit against the National Forestry Authority (NFA) over disputed land ownership. The NFA argued that the land in question, located on the lakeshore and measuring over 20 acres, belonged to the NFA and was not available for private ownership. In 2019, Munyagwa faced a criminal summons from the Anti-Corruption Court on charges of soliciting a gratification of 100 million shillings from Francis Kakumba.
The prosecution alleged that, while serving as the Mayor of Kawempe Division in December 2014, Munyagwa sought a bribe in exchange for his influence to secure Kakumba’s appointment as a member of the Kampala City Land Board. It was claimed that Munyagwa received USD 20,000 and an additional 4 million shillings from Kakumba for the same purpose.
The current status of this case is unknown.