Kyotera MP-elect arraigned in court for defying covid-19 rules last year

Kyotera MP-elect John Paul Lukwago Mpalanyi. PHOTO/ AMBROSE MUSASIZI

What you need to know:

  • Prosecution states that the two rallies were attended by more people than the 200 recommended by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
  • Mr Mpalanyi told this reporter that the cases against him are staged by his political opponents who lost in the January elections.


Kyotera MP-elect John Paul Lukwago Mpalanyi was Thursday charged with doing acts likely to spread an infectious disease (Covid-19), which offences the state claims were committed in October and December 2020.

Mr Mpalanyi who contested on a Democratic Party (DP) ticket ousted the State Minister for Microfinance, Mr Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo in the January 2021 parliamentary elections.

Mr Kasolo, who is also the Kyotera District National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairperson had served for two consecutive terms as MP before he was beaten by Mr Mpalanyi.

The presiding grade one magistrate, Mr George Mfitundinda read two cases in which he said Mr Mpalanyi was accused of negligently addressing a massive campaign rally at Kyotera Town Council on October 16, 2020. In another case, the MP-elect is accused of addressing a campaign rally on December 04, 2020 at Nakatoogo village, Nabigasa Sub County, Kyotera District.

Prosecution states that the two rallies were attended by more people than the 200 recommended by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of Coronavirus. Prosecution further says those who attended the two rallies did not follow the virus prevention measures like wearing facemasks, washing their hands and social distancing, something that put their lives at risk of catching the virus.

However, Mr Mpalanyi who had presented himself before the magistrate following court summon, through his lawyer, Alexander Lule, applied for bail. He was granted a none-cash bail of Shs2 million while his sureties were each bonded Shs1 million on grounds that he will not interfere with investigations and that he will appear in court whenever required

His lawyer also informed the magistrate that Mr Mpalanyi was a newly elected area legislator who would not snub court.

He’s expected to return to court on May 13, 2021.

Shortly after court, Mr Mpalanyi told this reporter that the cases against him are staged by his political opponents who lost in the January elections.

“I concluded my campaigns very well without any interference. I wonder why these people are coming up now. The state should focus on the case in which our supporter was shot by security operatives instead of wasting time on such baseless allegations,” he said.

He further said he did not address any rally on October 16, 2020 as stated by prosecution because he was at his home celebrating his birthday.

“Can you imagine that was my birthday and we had not even yet officially opened our campaigns. We started the campaigns in November 2020, so how come I held a campaign rally before we were even authorized,” he wondered.


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