The High court has halted the execution of an arrest warrant issued against businessman Mukesh Shukla Babubhai for failure to pay costs after losing an election petition to Nakawa West MP Joel Ssenyonyi Besekezi.
The stay of execution was on Friday issued by the civil division judge Musa Ssekaana pending the determination of the main application in which Mukesh is challenging the bill of Shs 73 million he was ordered to pay arguing that it’s exorbitant.
Mukesh’s troubles started when he challenged the victory of Ssenyonyi before the High court in Kampala after losing the Nakawa West parliamentary seat. Ssenyonyi, who contested on the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) won with 30,847 votes. Mukesh came sixth after polling 806 votes.
But Mukesh accused Ssenyonyi of committing several electoral offenses such as ballot stuffing and failing to sign the declaration of results forms with support from the Electoral Commission. He accused Ssenyonyi of stuffing ballots at 8 polling stations where he got 81 instead of 58 votes. However, High court judge Isaac Muwata dismissed the application with costs for lack of sufficient evidence forcing him to appeal against it.
In March, the Court of Appeal justices Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Stephen Musota, and Christopher Gashirabake stamped the High court ruling and dismissed Mukesh’s appeal on grounds that it was filed out of time 14 days of stipulated time within which to file election matters. Ssenyonyi through his lawyers led by George Musisi filed an application in the High court seeking costs.
Last week, the civil division deputy registrar Jamson Karemani issued a warrant of arrest directing the police to arrest Mukesh on sight. This was weeks after Karemani had summoned Mukesh in vain to come and explain why he shouldn’t be sent to jail.
But, Mukesh filed an application challenging the bill of costs that was endorsed after taxation on the basis that it okayed huge sums of money and therefore should be reduced further.