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MP Rukaari should blame the law, not police officers in his debt woes

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Mbarara City North MP Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari was days ago released from Luzira civil prison after spending there some time, following his committal by the registrar of the Commercial Court.

His arrest came after the court issued an arrest warrant on November 17, 2022, over his failure to pay the debt he willingly sought and was well aware of the consequences if he failed to pay back the money. 

Rukaari also the NRM Entrepreneurs League national chairman was released after he paid Shs 300 million of the Shs 702mln debt. 

However, after coming out of prison, the MP seems to have turned his guns against court bailiffs and police officers who arrested him as provided under the law.

Rukaari after filing to get positive response from police bosses now wants to involve State House Anti-corruption Unit (SHACU) to have the police officers who participated in his arrest to be arrested. This is unlawful.

As an MP, Rukaari knows that all men in Uganda are equal before the law. Why does he want special status? He is not the first MP in Uganda to be sent to prison by court, nor will he be the last. He should sue government if he feels he was unfairly arrested and detained in Luzira civil prison.

In trying to clean Rukaari’s name, last Saturday Justice Minister Norbert Mao while at church fundraising event in Mbarara days ago condemned the arrest and detention of the area MP, claiming his committal was merely intended to humiliate him.

Mao went on: “This was absolutely unnecessary. The same money lender has Rukaari’s land title of property worth billions and a duly signed transfer form. So if it was about recovering the money, all he would have done was to sell the property.” Truth is that Minister Mao knows that selling someone’s property is not easy as such even if he owes you money. Even then, people like MP Rukaari can give you their land titles but make it hard for you to sell their properties.

Minister Mao went on to say government owes MP Rukaari more than Shs 40 billion, stressing that it is only the Ministry of Finance holding his money. Why can’t Rukaari take government to court if is holding his money? Why didn’t Mao explain the contract that Rukaari entered with his creditor?

Rukaari knows that the mandate of Uganda Police Force as provided in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, and Uganda Police Force Act Cap 303, is protection of life and property, prevention and detection of crime, keeping law and order, and maintenance of overall Security and Public Safety in Uganda. So by lawfully working with court bailiffs to arrest Rukaari, the police were fulfilling this mandate. The MP should use parliament to amend the law of contract if he feels it is unfair to the borrowers.

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