Unmasked: Who is Moses Kirunda, the controversial court bailiff behind MP Rukaari arrest?

Kirunda is jointly charged with Major Nelson Kyatuuka for the murder of city businessman Magid Mugwanya.

Controversial court bailiff Moses Kirunda is back in the news, ever more with controversy surrounding his mode of operation.

Mabarara City North Member of Parliament, Robert Rukaari Mwesigwa last week wrote to police and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, asking for a probe into the involvement of Kirunda in his questionable arrest on March 1.

In his petition, the MP, also national chairman for the NRM Entrepreneurs League argues that Kirunda does not have a valid license to conduct business of a bailiff. He states that the same license was withdrawn when Kirunda was suspended over his alleged involvement in a murder case.

The MP argues that his arrest was not only unnecessary and only conducted to embarrass him, but was also high handed demeaning and an abuse of state resources.

“The background events that led to my arrest for a civil debt arising out of a commercial court case, raises the following concerns that are addressed for your urgent attention: Whether the involvement of Kirunda Moses of M/S Spear Link Auctioneers in extraction/arrest without a valid court Bailiff’s licence for the year 2023 on court record was not irregular and an abuse of court process,” Rukaari’s petition reads in part.

The MP further wants the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to probe whether Kirunda Moses was not suspended by the Court Bailiffs and Auctioneers Association over a murder case.

While in his defence the court bailiff told journalists last week that he no court can issue an arrest warrant to an unlicenced bailiff, MP Rukaari, in an interview with this website clarified that the still questionable warrant was issued to a firm and not Kirunda as a bailiff, in which case the firm should have assigned another bailiff and not Kirunda who lacks a licence.

The MP has further petitioned the Judicial Service Commission, in a letter dated March 10, also copied to the Principal Judge, Courts of Judicature and Chairman Judicial Service Commission, complaining against various government officials— police chief ASP Karim Mukiiibi and Court Bailiff Moses Kirunda.

Others include Assistant Registrars of the Commercial Court, Her worship Mastula Mulondo and Her Worship Juliet Nakitende.

“This is to register my complaint against various Government officials that include ASP Mukiibi Karim & another, Court Bailiff& Auctioneer Moses Kirunda and Assistant Registrars of the Commercial Court, Her worship Mastula Mulondo and Her Worship Juliet Nakitende, ” MP Rukaari wrote.

Court registrars under investigation

On Wednesday the Judicial Service Commission directed for an inquiry against the two Court Registrars accused of flaunting court process in the arrest. Mulondo is the Registra of Small Claims Procedure in the Judiciary.

Justice Benjamin Kabiito, the Chairperson of Judicial Service Commission in a letter said the commission has since registered the complaint against the two registrars and said the duo would face criminal investigations.

“Your Complaint has been duly received and has been referred to the Registrar, Complaints, Investigations and Disciplinary Affairs (R/CIDA) for further management, ” Justice Kabiito wrote in a letter to MP Rukaari.

Who is Kirunda?

Online magazine, the Independent in February 2022 reported that Kirunda who is standing trial for murder before the General Court Martial had asked the court to bar the media from covering his case because the coverage was negatively affecting his health.

Kirunda is jointly charged with Major Nelson Kyatuuka for the murder of city businessman Magid Mugwanya.

“They take my photos and videos without my consent and publish them. It raises my pressure since I’m hypertensive with worries of these publications”, the Independent quoted Kirunda in his petition to the Judge Advocate, Col. Richard Tukacungurwa. Kirunda asked for bail from the Court Martial chaired by Lt General Andrew Gutti.

He argues for bail on grounds of ill health, and the fact that the charges against him are bailable.

Kirunda oversaw the demolition of St. Peters Church Ndeeba in 2020.

He first appeared before the Makindye Chief Magistrates Court on August 17th, 2021 over the murder of businessman Mugwanya and was remanded to Kitalya government prison. Court heard that Kirunda and Kyatuuka, who is attached to the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence-CMI and others still at large, caused the unlawful death of Mugwanya on July 14th 2021, in Kitanzi zone in Lungujja, Lubaga division in Kampala district.

It is alleged that Mugwanya who had parked his car on the roadside, saw a woman crying for help as she was being dragged by three men into a waiting car at night. Mugwanya reportedly got out of his car to help the woman but three armed men shot him in the chest even after identifying himself.

The businessman died on the spot and the suspects fled the crime scene. However, days later, the Director of Public Prosecution Jane Frances Aboddo withdrew the charges against the duo.

However, military prosecutors instituted the charges afresh in the General Court Martial.

Kabonero admits to dealing with Kirunda

In a fresh twist to circumstances surrounding the arrest of Rukaari, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit on Tuesday confirmed receiving a petition from Mbarara City North Member of Parliament, Robert Rukaari Mwesigwa, alleging the involvement of city businessman Robert Kabonero in his arrest.

Speaking to this website in a phone conversation, Ms Natasha Mariam Oduka, the spokesperson of the State House’s Anti-Corruption Unit said they received the petition on Friday.

In the letter, a copy of which the website has seen, Rukaari, alleges that Kabonero, a prominent Kampala businessman worked with Kirunda to effect his arrest.

“I am in receipt of information including confessions, that Mr Robert Kabonero continuously called Moses Kirunda to orchestrate my arrest and detention, intentionally to annoy, embarrass and ridicule my person as a Member of Parliament,” Mr Mwesigwa’s letter reads in part.

“My appeal to you is to establish the criminal intention of the person in question and whether the state-engineered my arrest and incarceration to Luzira when the Judgment Credito had security against the debt with an estimated value of Shs3.8 billion,” Mwesigwa’s petition further reads.

The petition is an addendum to the earlier complaint which the MP filed at the SH-ACU.

Last evening, Mr Kabonero’s lawyers wrote to Rukaari a letter seen by this website, admitting that Mr Kabonero has on several occasions called Kirunda since the bailiff works for the businessman.

“….our client, like other persons has been in contact with Moses Kirunda in relation to execution of court decrees in his favour,” a letter from MMAKS Advocates addressed to the MP reads in part.

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