Court orders former Uganda Airlines boss to defend self

Former Uganda Airlines boss Mr Cornwell Muleya at Buganda Road Court on September 23, 2022. PHOTO/JULIET KIGONGO

What you need to know:

  • Court also declined to issue Mr Cornwell Muleya his passport emphasizing that the "case against him is now in advanced stages."

Court has ordered former Uganda Airlines boss Mr Cornwell Muleya to defend himself on the charge of disobedience.

The Zambian national is charged with disobeying orders to appear and make a statement in regards to corruption related offenses.

On Friday, court heard from three prosecution witnesses that included two Inspectorate of Government officials Gideon Abudum, Supervisor Special Investigations, Ms Loreen Akello- as well as Francis Kabera, the security manager at Airtel.

Mr Abudum told court that he drafted the summons which were signed by the Deputy IGG and sent to Mr Muleya through his personal email.

The Buganda Road Court Grade one magistrate, Asuman Muhumuza explained that the law requires the court at the closure of prosecution to determine whether or not the evidence adduced has established a prima facie case against the accused in order to put him on defence.

Mr Muhumuza relied on the evidence of Mr Abudum and Ms Akello that indeed Mr Muleya was served with summons requiring him to appear in-person at the IGG’s office but he defied.

“There was no reasonable excuse that did not require the accused to report at the IGG’S office. I am satisfied that the prosecution has done enough to satisfy that the accused defied the IGG’s orders. The accused has a case to answer and is hereby put on his defense,” Mr Muhumuza ruled.

Court also declined to temporarily give Mr Muleya his passport as sought by his lawyer who noted that he needed to travel to Equatorial Guinea for a business consultancy deal since he is unemployed.

“One of the key terms for bail was depositing a passport and the matter is in advanced stages. However what court can do is to grant an expedite hearing so that he can know his fate,” Mr Muhumuza added.

Prosecution states that between May and June, 2022, Mr Muleya willfully and without reasonable justification or excuse refused to comply with an order of the IGG dated May 23 requiring his attendance to give evidence and produce documents to the IGG regarding mismanagement of public funds, procurements and recruitment of staff at the Uganda Airlines under reference HQT/CO/561/2021.

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