Police are holding a man accused of impersonating judicial officers at Masaka Magistrate’s court. Martin Kawunde was picked up on Tuesday at Masaka Magistrate’s court where he was found extorting money from a resident to allegedly fast track his case file.
He had reportedly received unspecified amount of money from several people seeking services at the court. Samuel Munobe, the Masaka Chief Magistrate, says they decided to lay a trap after receiving complaints of extortion from the general public.
According to Munobe, they found Kawunde hanging in the court corridors while three other men and women were sitting in the Magistrate’s chambers. He says they managed to pick up Kawunde when they found him receiving money from unsuspecting residents.
Information obtained from Masaka Magistrate’s court shows that unscrupulous people have penetrated the judiciary to con unsuspecting members of the public. The suspects pose as magistrates, court clerks, and brokers. Capital
Munobe says they have introduced a special registry at the court entrance to keep tabs and register all people entering court.
Musa Musisi is one of the con victims. Musisi claims a man he identifies as Emanuel Ddamulira approached him demanding for a bribe of Shillings 300,000 to expedite the handling of his land case but he has spent a week without seeing him at Masaka court.
But Martin Kawunde, who is being held at Masaka central police station, denies the allegations of leveled against him. According to Kwaunde, he was arrested for trying to speak to the magistrate on some matter before court.
David Bakibiinga, the Principal State Attorney Masaka district, says there is an increasing number of conmen extorting money from the public. According to Bakibiinga, they have also received strange reports with some members of the public accusing them of failing to work on their files yet they gave them facilitation.