Judiciary interdicts chief magistrate accused of corruption

Chief Magistrate Sylvia Nvanungi (left) and  State attorney Jackline Bako in the dock at the Anti-Corruption Court in Wandegeya, Kampala on November 22, 2023. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA  

The Judiciary has interdicted the Mitooma Chief Magistrate, Ms Sylvia Nvanungi, who was last week arraigned before court and charged over a Shs2.5m bribe.

Speaking to this publication yesterday, the Judiciary’s spokesperson, Mr James Ereemye Mawanda, said under the Public Service Standing Orders, once a judicial officer is charged before court in a case involving moral turpitude, they are automatically interdicted.

“By reason of being charged in court over an offense involving moral turpitude under the Public Standing Service Orders, the officer is put on interdiction until the matter is sorted out in court,” Mr Ereemye said.

He also revealed that the magistrate in question will, going forward while on interdiction, be earning half pay.
Chief Magistrates earn about Shs7m per month, meaning Ms Nvanungi will now be earning about Shs3.5m until her matter is resolved in court with either a “conviction” or an “acquittal”.

“For now, we will allow the court to do its work and the due course will be accorded to the person charged. While on interdiction, the officer will be getting half pay.” Mr Ereemye added.

According to the Public Service Standing Orders, an interdiction is the temporary removal of a public officer from exercising his or her duties while an investigation over a particular matter is being carried out.

On Wednesday last week, Magistrate Nvanungi, alongside Ms Jackline Bako, the Resident State Attorney of Sembabule court, were arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit in connection with alleged soliciting and receiving of bribes from different persons undergoing trial before court in Sembabule District.

They were subsequently arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala.
They denied the charges. They were remanded to Luzira prison where they spent a night before being released on bail last Thursday. They are expected back in court on January 19.