What you need to know:
- The money stems from the 2021 election petition that Mujungu lost to his predecessor Mr Jackson Mbaju Kathika.
- The legislator was arrested from his home in Saluti B of Kanyangeya Ward in Nyamwamba Division, Kasese Municipality, Kasese District on Tuesday morning by court bailiffs.
Busongora South Member of Parliament in Kasese District, western Uganda, Mr Gideon Thembo Mujungu has been committed to the civil prison for defaulting Shs183,618, 000 arising from the costs of a 2021 court election petition.
Fort Portal High Court Deputy Registrar, Francis Dawa Matenga committed the legislator to v prison following an execution for a warrant of arrest issued by the same court in June this year and addressed to Mr Joneni Bamwenda, a court bailiff in Kasese town.
“This is to command you to arrest the said respondent (Thembo Gideon Mujungu) wherever he may be unless the said respondent pays to you the sum of Shs183,618,000 together with costs for executing this process to bring the said judgment debtor before court,” read the warrant issued on June 13.
The money stems from the 2021 election petition that Mujungu lost to his predecessor Mr Jackson Mbaju Kathika.
The legislator was arrested from his home in Saluti B of Kanyangeya Ward in Nyamwamba Division, Kasese Municipality, Kasese District on Tuesday morning by court bailiffs.
Mr Johnson Kamalha Kalyasa, the Kasese NRM Publicity Secretary for Kasese District said the party would offer all the necessary support to bail him out of prison.
“It is true that the MP has been arrested and subsequently committed to Katojjo [Prison] by Fort Portal High Court, although he still has some leniency time to mobilize money and pay before close of business today [Tuesday]. Dr Chrispus Kiyonga [Kasese NRM Chairperson] is in touch to see how to help. If he fails to get the money today he will sleep in prison,” Kamalha revealed.
Mr Kathika initially lost the election petition as per the ruling of the Fort Portal High Court judge, Victoria Katamba who argued that he had not proved to the court that Mujungu was party to electoral offenses committed on the polling day of 2021.
Mujungu had trounced Kathika with a paltry margin of 79 votes in the February 2021 parliamentary election to unseat the latter from the parliamentary position. Kathika garnered 7,522 votes to trail Mujungu in a parliamentary race involving 10 contenders.
Kathika, however, petitioned the appellate court because Justice Katamba had failed to evaluate the evidence before the court.
Led by Justice Fredrick Egonde-Ntende, the panel of three justices of Court of Appeal concurred with Kathika.
The court nullified Mujungu's election with Shs183 million in costs to his appellant.
The Electoral Commission organized a by-election last August and Mujungu bounced back to parliament after trouncing Kathika. He got 12,088 votes while Kathika garnered 6,866 votes.
Kathika decided not to petition court but instead obtained costs that had been awarded to him by the Court of Appeal.
Mujungu, however, ran to Fort Portal High Court and applied for a review of costs arguing that the appellate court erred when it slapped him with costs of Shs183 million.
However, Fort Portal High Court Judge Vincent Emmy Mugabo dismissed with costs the applications filed by Mr Mujungu, ruling that the decree was executed by the Court of Appeal and that the High Court had no jurisdiction to stop orders by a superior court.