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IGG, High Court judge clash over Muhwezi

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th December 2007 03:00 AM

HIGH Court Judge Rubby Opio Aweri has protested “offensive and unwarranted allegations” against him by the Inspector General of Government (IGG).

HIGH Court Judge Rubby Opio Aweri has protested “offensive and unwarranted allegations” against him by the Inspector General of Government (IGG).

By Charles Ariko

HIGH Court Judge Rubby Opio Aweri has protested “offensive and unwarranted allegations” against him by the Inspector General of Government (IGG).

In a letter to the Principal Judge, James Ogoola, Aweri said: “I wonder what principles of natural justice had been infringed on when both parties were given a hearing even where they did not deserve.”

IGG Faith Mwondha recently wrote to Ogoola complaining that Aweri did not follow the ‘principle of natural justice’ when presiding over the petition filed by Maj. Jim Muhwezi, Capt. Mike Mukula, Dr. Alex Kamugisha and former State House aide, Alice Kaboyo. The four are accused of abuse of office in connection with immunisation funds.

Muhwezi and his co-accused are challenging the mandate of the IGG to prosecute them. They also questioned the impartiality of the Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate, Margaret Tibulya, whom they said was related to the IGG who is prosecuting them. In his letter of December 20, Aweri said he wanted to dispose of the petition quickly.

“There was no irregularity in the procedure which I undertook. I did not invent a new wheel when I ordered a case management conference or scheduling conference as the IGG chose to call it,” Aweri said.

“Did the IGG expect me to throw out the petition without hearing the parties?” he asked.

The IGG’s intention, he said, was to argue the merit of her case. “I am shocked. May be I have personal problems with Her Lady which I am yet to discover,” he said, adding that he needed protection in his work from Ogoola.

On the accusation that he had made judicial errors, Aweri said, “Judicial errors are corrected by way of appeals and not administrative directions.” He said if the IGG doubted his impartiality, she should have applied formally and he would have decided to step down or not.

“That is a judicial practice unless the learned judge has forgotten too soon.”
He appealed to the IGG to add value to her office and help the judiciary to fight corruption than “crying ‘Wolves!’ ‘Wolves’ where there is none.” He quoted a Luo proverb, cingi keni pe konyi,/i> (your hands alone cannot help you).

On the IGG’s complaint that the same lawyers who represented Leonard Mpuuma, the former National Social Security Fund boss accused of fraud, were appearing in this petition, Aweri said he found it “even most ridiculous.”

He argued: “I do not determine how many times lawyers are to appear before me. If it is a new style of fighting corruption by restricting the number of times lawyers are to appear before judges, I will embrace it.”

IGG, High Court judge clash over Muhwezi

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