Court Releases Former Uganda Airlines Boss Muleya

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • November 1, 2022

Court has acquitted former Uganda Airlines boss Cornwell Muleya of a charge of disobedience.

Muleya had been accused of disobeying the Inspector General of Government (IGG) orders to appear before their office and make a statement over corruption-related charges that they were investigating against him.

However, presiding Buganda Road Court Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza on Monday acquitted Mr Muleya on grounds that non-appearance at the IGG’s office was excusable.

Mr Muhumuza ruled that the explanation offered by Mr Muleya was just.

Mr Muleya had said he was out of the country at the time the ombudsman’s office needed him, and presented travel documents and medical forms.

Court noted that Mr Muleya tendered in court his passport and air tickets as prove that he travelled to South Africa on June 7 and returned on June 11 and the following day, he travelled to Dubai and returned on June 14.

He was later admitted to Mulago hospital where he was advised to rest for 10 days.

“I am surprised that the IGG did not find the same explanation compelling upon the arrest of the accused. I find that the accused failure to appear for the summons is not defiance as the prosecutor had put it but it was a just reasonable excuse. For those reasons, the accused person is not found guilty and is acquitted,” Mr Muhumuza ruled.

The court faulted Mr Muleya for not communicating his illness to his lawyers and the person he was in contact with at the IGG’s office when he returned from South Africa.

However, Mr Muhumuza said his failure to communicate does not constitute a criminal offence nor warrants criminal prosecution.

Court noted that Mr Muleya had maintained that it was never his intention not to cooperate with the IGG as his failure to appear on June 1 was upon the advice of his lawyers who had raised concerns about the email he had received and thus needed clarity.

Prosecution led by Mr Rogers Kinobe had stated that between May and June, Mr Muleya willfully and without reasonable justification or excuse, refused to comply with a May 23 order of the IGG 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.