National
High Court to rule on budget block case
Publish Date: May 15, 2014
High Court to rule on budget block case
Activists are protesting the planned reduction of the UPE capitation grants from sh7,560 to sh6,800 per pupil in the 2014/2015 Budget.
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Andante Okanya

COURT is on May 20, scheduled to rule on whether to stop presentation of the national budget, as demanded by a legislator and activists who are protesting a cut in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) capitation grant.

On Wednesday, assistant registrar of the civil division of the High Court in Kampala Eleanor Khainza, set the date after lawyers had concluded their arguments.

The ruling could determine whether the Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka national budget, will go ahead with the budget presentation expected mid-next month.

The activists are protesting the planned reduction of the UPE capitation grants from sh7,560 to sh6,800 per pupil in the financial year 2014/2015.

On May 2, Kalungu County West MP Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga, and Initiative for Social and Economic Rights and the legislator filed a civil suit, against Government. Government chief legal adviser the Attorney General (AG) listed as the defendant.

Subsequently on May 6, they filed an application to block the reading of the budget, pending the dispose of the main case that is scheduled for hearing on June 30 by Justice Stephen Musota.

Capitation grants are funds paid to primary and post primary schools and are based on the number of pupils in the schools.

The activists are demanding that the Finance ministry reverses the proposed UPE capitation grant fund cut. 

The AG’s representative senior state attorney Henry Oluka, asked court to dismiss the bid, saying it would ground government machinery to a halt.

“If this court were to grant an order, that action would amount to taking wheels off the vehicle of government in its drive to provide services,” Oluka stated.

Prior, lawyers from Centre for Legal Aid Isaac Semakadde and Eron Kiiza, representing the applicants, had submitted that Government cannot suffer irreparable damage in the event that the court  temporarily block the budget reading until the merits of the main case are heard.

But Oluka said the magnitude of bringing Government machinery to a halt, cannot be compensated for, even by award of damages, as programmes are based on strict timelines.

He said court orders must be capable of enforcement and of a practical effect. Oluka dismissed the notion that there is a status quo to protect.

He said the applicants were being speculative on Government’s intention, and that their demand was not premised on a clear event.

However, Semakadde and Kiiza said Government had “misunderstood and ill-appreciated” the activists’ intentions. 

Kiiza said the case is one of human rights enforcement and of public interest. Semakadde stated that the activists’ agenda was devoid of any mischief.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Police arrests five over Kampala bank robbery
Police in Kampala have arrested five people in connection with the robbery of a bank, one month after a countrywide hunt by the Police Flying Squad....
Gov’t needs sh2.2trillion for HIV/Aids control by 2016
Government needs about sh2.2trillion for HIV/Aids response by the year 2016, money that is required to procure antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, HIV test kits and other related supplies....
Health commission to replace dead, retired health workers
The Health Service Commission says it is set to replace over 800 health workers who have reached the retirement age of 60 and those who have died....
‘With honest people, Uganda can be richest nation’
Retired Archbishop of the CoU, Henry Luke Orombi says Uganda can be the wealthiest nation on the planet if citizens are honest....
Museveni respects my advice, says AG
The Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, has said President Yoweri Museveni is “satisfied” with his “controversial” legal opinions...
MPs condemn KCCA staff
MPs condemn the “brutality” meted on suspects by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) law enforcers....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter