Hearing of a case of the ousted Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago's return to office flopped on Thursday at the Court of Appeal, after one of the judges on the panel was unavailable.
By Andante Okanya
Hearing of a case of the ousted Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago's return to office flopped on Thursday at the Court of Appeal, after one of the judges on the panel, Faith Mwondha was reported unavailable.
Lukwago arrived at the court at about 9:45am, with lawyers Medard Ssegona, Chrisestom Katumba, and Abdullah Kiwanuka.
Mwondha, had been scheduled to be part of the panel, with Justices Augustine Nshimye and Eldad Mwangusya.
However, her absence was indicated in a letter by the court registrar Deo Nzeyimana, dated March 3, 2015.
New Vision has seen and obtained a copy of the letter, which further stresses tha: "It is not possible to reconstitute a panel at such short notice to hear the case.”
The Appellate Court had been scheduled to hear two applications jointly filed by the AG and KCCA.
One of the applications is for leave(permission) to appeal the March 28, 2014 High Court ruling of Justice Lydia Mugambe, which ordered Lukwago's return to office.
Mugambe refused to grant the two entities leave to appeal, on grounds that it would prejudice Lukwago.
The other application is for an extension of the Court of Appeal court order of Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma.
Kavuma's order of last year March 31, halted Lukwago from executing duties of Lord Mayor, pending determination of the AG-KCCA appeal against Mugambe's decision.
A shroud of uncertainty is still looming on the implementation of last year's August 21 Supreme Court order, which instructed the Appellate Court to expeditiously hear Lukwago's query.
Last year on April 1, Lukwago petitioned the Supreme Court, alleging that Kavuma was biased and that he was uncertain of a fair hearing at the Appellate Court Kavuma heads.
But the court sent him back to the Appellate Court, noting that he should exhaust all the available remedial procedures at the Appellate Court.
Lukwago was impeached on November 25, 2013 by KCCA councillors for alleged incompetence, abuse of office and misconduct.
This was on the prompting of a tribunal report, whose findings disclosed that Lukwago had a case to answer and that his fate was to be decided by the councillors.
Lukwago has since challenged the tribunal report. The case is still pending at the High Court.
Justice Kavuma's order in effect halted hearing of all the cases related to Lukwago, pending the determination of the appeal.
Speaking to the press at the court, Lukwago who was flanked by supporters, accused President Yoweri Museveni of using the judiciary as a "play-thing in his political manouevres" to defeat the course of justice.
Ssegona downplayed the tribunal report, saying it contains views, which have since been challenged.
Lukwago’s case flops over judge''s absence