Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago jail
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago addresses journalists at City Hall yesterday. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

Lukwago asks the court for protection from jail term after a suspect he stood surety for vanished

Kampala Lord Mayor, Elias Lukwago faces a jail term after the disappearance of a suspect he stood surety for.

Lukwago in 2017 stood surety for Sandra Katebairwe, the wife to Pastor Happy Ntabo who was charged before Buganda Road Court for obtaining money illegally through false pretence, forgery and presentation of false documents.

However, on Friday,4th, October 2019 Lukwago ran to High Court seeking protection from imprisonment or Shs50m penalty after the disappearance of the suspect he stood for.

In his submission, Lukwago says the trouble began, when Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate’s Court released Sandra Katebareirwe’s passport.

The prosecution says on July 8, 2016, Katebareirwe defrauded Wu-Weiling of Mama Mia Investments of $68,530 (Shs251m), lying that she was going to provide him rental space at Imperial Botanical Shopping Mall in Kampala, in a meeting they held at Rwenzori Towers in Kampala.

With others still at large, Katebareirwe denied the charges and was granted bail. But ordered to deposit her passport in court, however, later on, her passport was given back to her by the court, and she travelled abroad.

And ever since then, she has jumped the bail.

Pleading, Lukwago says instructing him to avail Katebareirwe within six months or forfeit shs50m to the government in his capacity as a surety is unfair and illegal because the Chief Magistrate did not consult him on whether her passport should be given back to her or not before she travelled abroad.

“As a practising advocate, I believe that the Chief Magistrate exercised jurisdiction vested in her illegally when Court proceeded to release the accused’s passport to enable her travel abroad without my knowledge as one of the persons who stood surety for the accused person,” Lukwago informed court in his application.

Lukwago adds that the trial Magistrate did not notify him whether he’s still willing to stand surety for the suspect or not, or rather continue monitoring her while she’s out of the country, before returning her passport.

“The trial Magistrate ought to have notified me before releasing the accused person’s passport and inquire from him me whether I was ready to continue standing surety for the accused person under the revised bail condition or term.”

Each surety who stood in for Katebareire including Lukwago was committed to a non-cash bond of shs50m, indicating that each surety would pay shs50m if the accused happens to jump the bail term.

So, in this regard, Lukwago wants Yasin Nyanzi, the High Court to side-line Buganda Road Court orders and discharge him of the terms and conditions stated on Katebareirwe’s bail.

And after, Justice Nyanzi set October 15th for Lukwago’s application hearing.