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Court Orders Arrest, Imprisonment of Owor, Busiro South Elections Loser

By Our Reporter

 

NATIONAL

Owor with his company members

Wakiso Chief Magistrate’s court has issued a warrant of arrest against Paul Owor, one of the former candidates for Busiro South parliamentary elections over failure to pay election costs amounting to Shs13 million.

 

The order has been issued by chief magistrate John Kaggwa who ordered that Owor be immediately arrested by police and taken to a civil prison, saying he has neither obeyed nor satisfied him that he should not be sent to jail.

 

“You are hereby commanded and required to receive the said Owor Paul into civil prison and keep him imprisoned therein for a period of not exceeding six months or until the said decree/order shall be fully satisfied/released according to the terms and provisions of section 43 of the civil Procedure Act”, reads the order, adding: “Court hereby fix…per day as the rate of the daily allowance for subsistence of the said Owor Paul payable for the period of six months during his confinement under this warrant of committal.”

 

The order arises from a successful application made by the incumbent MP for Busiro South Charles Matovu, through his lawyers led by George Musisi.

 

It all started in 2021 after Owor, an independent-leaning candidate participated in the parliamentary elections and obtained 16,418 votes thereby losing to Matovu of the National Unity Platform (NUP) who garnered 35,391 votes and was declared the victor in a race of seven contenders including Peter Sematimba of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

 

Dissatisfied with the results that were announced by the Electoral Commission and gazetted in the National Gazette, Owor petitioned the Wakiso Magistrate’s court seeking a vote recount saying that there was vote rigging and ballot stuffing which affected the final outcome in a substantial manner.

 

But his application was dismissed with costs for lack of merit which paved way for Matovu to stay in parliament. Consequently, Matovu filed an application demanding to be paid his costs worth Shs 29 million which were taxed and endorsed to be Shs 13,120,000.

 

As a result, Owor was summoned twice to appear in court and explain why he should not be taken to prison for failure to pay the said costs. But he did not show up; neither did his lawyers of KM Advocates whom the applicants were reportedly serving the court documents nor did he acknowledge receipt. After failing to turn up yesterday 7th November, 2022, the court was left with no choice but to issue a warrant of arrest to take him to prison.

 

Meanwhile, Owor is not new to controversy. In May 2021, Owor was arrested for allegedly extorting US$22,000(about shs77 million) from a Chinese businessman.

 

Owor was arrested together with three others including Emmanuel Wandabwa, John Anthony Wapowo and Patel Muketa.

 

How it happened

 

Early this week, police together with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture arrested three people including a Chinese in Ntinda in an operation targeting fake agro chemicals.

 

The Criminal Investigations Division spokesperson, Charles Twine said the group was arrested with agro-chemicals which have been taken to laboratories valued at Shs 500 million.

 

It is alleged that the group used to repackage agro-chemicals which had been banned in Uganda and resale them on the market.

 

The three people arrested over the sale of unregistered and expired-agro chemicals Bi Jing Lmi(Chinese), Gilbert Afimani and Wilson Bamulanzeki.

 

However, after trio’s arrest, it is alleged that Paul Owor presented himself as one of the best lawyers in Kampala and together with his accomplices, they asked for money from the Chinese businessman so as to secure his release.

 

It is also alleged that the Chinese businessman paid US$22,000 to Owor’s group but it turned out they had conned him since they never secured his release from police detention.

 

“When the group was pressurised to secure the Chinese businessman’s release or refund the money, they brought themselves to police and admitted to have taken money to secure the release. We then arrested them,” Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire said.

 

Owoyesigyire said on interrogation, Owor and his group refused to hand over the money given to them but the police mouthpiece said they are still looking for the Chinese businessman, who handed the money to the group.

 

“The Chinese businessman who sent money to secure the release of his colleague is also a suspect in the case of the sale of unregistered and expired agro-chemicals but had not been arrested during the Police raid. He is on the run but we are still looking for him to get his statement on how and why he gave them money and why he is dealing in unregistered and expired chemicals,”Owoyesigyire said.

 

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