Wednesday September 3 2014

Former minister runs to NRM over debts

Former minister of State for Trade Nelson

Former minister of State for Trade Nelson Wambuzi Gagawala  

By Stephen Otage


Former minister of State for Trade Nelson Wambuzi Gagawala has turned to the ruling NRM party for help to pay legal fees for both his lawyers and those of his opponents after losing an election petition.
In an interview on Monday afternoon, Mr Gagawala told this newspaper that he has been forced to run to his party because it selected him as its flag bearer for the Bulamogi County seat in Kaliro District which he lost both in the polls and in a court case to the incumbent, Mr Kenneth Lubogo, resulting in the Shs189.5m in costs.
In April, Mr Gagawala was arrested by court bailiffs in Jinja District and jailed for three days in Kirinya prison over failure to pay the same debt.
Even after his party rescuing him from the coolers, the former legislator said he is not at liberty to move freely in public as money lenders could anytime pounce on him.
“I do not want to be seen in any camera or even in public because lawyers and bailiffs are looking for me. They may take me back to maximum prison,” he said.
According to Mr Gagawala, High Court in Jinja ordered him to pay all the lawyers, including his opponents, who have since attached his property and sold off some of it.
When contacted, Mr Lubogo’s known phone numbers were switched off. However, his lawyer Robert Bautu said the former legislator had paid off some of the money but had an outstanding balance.
“Yes, he paid off some money and there is still a balance. The next course of action is a decision we shall decide on when the time comes,” Mr Bautu said.