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Attack on lawyer Mayinja: Was it politically-motivated or over land?

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th December 2009 03:00 AM

WHEN city lawyer, David Tebusweke Mayinja, was attacked with acid recently, critics pointed fingers at two issues — the land cases he is handling and his involvement in politics. Mayinja, who is an outspoken politician and the Democratic Party (DP) Secr

WHEN city lawyer, David Tebusweke Mayinja, was attacked with acid recently, critics pointed fingers at two issues — the land cases he is handling and his involvement in politics. Mayinja, who is an outspoken politician and the Democratic Party (DP) Secr

By Chris Kiwawulo

WHEN city lawyer, David Tebusweke Mayinja, was attacked with acid recently, critics pointed fingers at two issues — the land cases he is handling and his involvement in politics. Mayinja, who is an outspoken politician and the Democratic Party (DP) Secretary for Mpigi district, says the unknown assailant emerged from the side of the co-driver, where his wife, Percy, was seated and poured acid at them.

The incident happened when Mayinja slowed down at Wandegeya traffic lights as they drove in their Ipsum vehicle going to their home in Nansana, Wakiso district. His wife got injuries on the face while Mayinja was injured on the chest.

Before the attack on November 30, Mayinja reportedly told fellow lawyers; Medard Sseggona Lubega and Erias Lukwago about someone who attempted to bribe him with sh50m over a land case he is handling. Mayinja says he rejected the offer.

Lubega confirmed Mayinja told them about the attempted bribe, but declined to add anything relating to the colleague’s attack. “Talk to him, he is now on phone,” he said.

“On the eve of the attack, I had also been to Mawokota North to hand over trophies to winners of the Tebusweke Cup that was going on in the four sub-counties of Kamengo, Muduuma, Mpigi town council and Kiringente. I gave each of the winners a bull. I left people bull roasting and jubilating in each of the sub-counties,” Mayinja, 40, recalls.

Mayinja says the tournament which will be crowned by a champions’ league, where winners in each sub-county will compete for sh1m, is part of his preparations for his campaigns in Mawokota North ahead of the 2011 elections. He has contested for the same post twice (2001 and 2006) but lost.

“In 2001, I used a bicycle to campaign and in 2006, I later used a car. I was the runner-up. I am now the shadow MP for Mawokota North,” he says. Mayinja got 8500 votes while the incumbent and winner, Peter Mutuluza, got 11,500 votes.

So, was the attack politically-motivated over a controversial land case he is handling or over something else?

Although Mayinja says the face of the attacker is not new to him, he cannot exactly tell what prompted the attack.

His mind lingers around several issues ranging from business rivalry, land cases and politics as the probable cause of the attack.

The Police are investigating the case, which was registered at Wandegeya Police Station as SD 69/30/11/09 on November 30. Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba says: “We have got some vital clues we are following.” However, Nabakooba does not reveal the clues, saying this could pre-empt and jeopardise their investigations.

Who is David Tebusweke Mayinja?

Mayinja is a practicing lawyer working with Lukwago and Company advocates in the city centre. He mostly deals with land and political matters. “I did my clerkship at Lukwago’s firm and when I completed my studies at the Law Development Centre (LDC) in 2004, I started working with Lukwago,” he says.
Mayinja has been vocal on issues like the proposed take over of the management of Kampala by the Central Government from Kampala City Council and the Land Bill that Parliament passed recently.

During the debate on the Kampala take-over, Mayinja had this to say: “It is not that everything that was put in the Constitution cannot be changed. We had a constitutional amendment in 2005, in which among other things, the untried article on term limits was removed. In this case, if the Government listens to the voices of the people, they can remove the clause about the take-over of Kampala.”

At the height of the debate on the then Land Bill in 2007, Kabaka Ronald Mutebi appointed Mayinja as the legal counsel to the Central Civic Education Committee that was sensitising members of the public about the bill. Nambooze was the committee chairperson. Manyinja says they caused revision of several articles in the Bill and still have some they oppose even after it was passed into law.

Erias Lukwago entrusted Mayinja with a number of land and political petition cases. Mayinja cites the Betty Nambooze Vs Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa (Mukono North) and that of Muyanda Mutebi Vs Fred Badda (Bujumba County in Kalangala district) as some of the cases he has worked on with Lukwago.

Mayinja, who is currently in the process of registering his own law firm; Tebusweke Mayinja, Okello and Company advocates, recognises Lukwago as his mentor. He says his chambers will be on Namaganda plaza in the city centre.

“I am doing all this with the help of Lukwago, who is giving me support and supervision to register my own law firm. I am planning to start work at my firm next year. Although I am planning to break away from Lukwago and Company advocates, I will continue working with the firm on a number of cases and issues,” he observes.

Mayinja was born in Muduuma but grew up in Kiringente in Mpigi district. Mayinja, who is the second-last born in a family of 34, has three children — all boys aged between five and 11 years. However, Mayinja is the 10th born among the 11 children on the side of his mother, Manjeri Nanfuka. His father, Lawrence Ssemakula, passed on.

Mayinja went to St. John Bosco Katende Primary School in Kiringente sub-county, Mpigi district. He joined Tutorial College (St. Francis Secondary School) in Mengo for O’level and later Aggrey Memorial College in Bunamwaya for his A’ level.

He enrolled for a Bachelors Degree in Law at Makerere and later went to LDC to acquire a law practicing certificate.
Mayinja says he has done a lot of desk work for DP not only as a party supporter but also as a democracy-loving Ugandan. When Mayinja is not in the chambers, he does business.

“I deal in car spare parts that I import from Japan and Dubai,” He owns a spare shop in Kampala. He says during his spare time, he goes out with his wife and children.

A former boxer with Kampala Boxing Club, Mayinja says he is still a fan of the boxing game. He remembers training with retired professional boxers like Kampala central division chairman Godfrey Nyakaana and Franco Kiwanuka. On the football world, Mayinja supports FC Villa in the local league and Chelsea internationally.

Attack on lawyer Mayinja: Was it politically-motivated or over land?

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