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Principal Judge tasks Lukwago probe tribunal on fairness

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th June 2013 06:06 PM

The Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine has tasked the probe tribunal instituted to review a petition by city councillors calling for the sacking of the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, to execute its duties with fairness.

Principal Judge tasks Lukwago probe tribunal on fairness

The Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine has tasked the probe tribunal instituted to review a petition by city councillors calling for the sacking of the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, to execute its duties with fairness.

By Andante Okanya  

The Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine has tasked the probe tribunal instituted to review a petition by city councillors calling for the sacking of the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, to execute its duties with fairness.

Bamwine made the call shortly after the three-member team led by Anti-Corruption Court judge Catherine Bamugemereire, was sworn in at his chambers in Kampala. Other members of the team are lawyer Alfred Okello Oryem; an expert in public service and civil litigation, and Ocaya Lakidi; a retired civil servant and former secretary to the judiciary.

The Principal Judge implored the team to uphold the rules on natural justice by according all the warring parties an opportunity to express themselves, and state their points of contention. The committee which starts work immediately is expected to be done with its task in two months.

"You have assumed the duty to act fairly, in good faith, without bias, and you act in a judicial manner. The oath casts on you the duty to give each party in the conflict the opportunity to state its case. Each party should be able to contradict each statement made against it," Bamwine said.

The tribunal was instituted by the minister for the presidency, also minister for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) affairs Frank Tumwebaze on June 5. It is expected to determine whether the contents of the petition hold sufficient grounds for the removal of the Lord Mayor from office.

Bamwine cautioned that in the event that one party opts to decline to appear before the tribunal, the team must put it on record.

On May 17, a group of 17 KCCA councillors petitioned Tumwebaze demanding the removal of Lukwago from office. They accuse him of alleged misconduct, abuse of office and incompetence. Lukwago is also faulted for intentionally and wilfully engaging in acts of public incitement against payment of city dues, and impeded KCCA revenue collection efforts.


However, there is a pending petition filed by Lukwago at the Constitutional Court, seeking to permanently restrain the tribunal from probing him. In his petition dated June 6, 2013, Lukwago laments that the he was denied opportunity to respond to the allegations before setting up the tribunal. But Bamwine said he was not aware of Lukwago's petition.

In Lukwago's petition, Government chief legal advisor the Attorney General, and Frank Tumwebaze, are listed as co-respondents. He purports that they are breaching the Constitution, and demands they be restrained.

The Lord Mayor asserts that the councillors move to censure him is premised on ‘false and baseless grounds’, and accuses Tumwebaze of being biased against him.

Under the KCCA Act, in the event that the tribunal determines that there is a case for the removal of the Lord Mayor, and the Authority passes the resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all of the councillors, the Lord Mayor shall cease to hold office.

A bid to censure Lukwago failed last month in Parliament after complaints were raised by Lukwago loyalists on the report prepared by the Public Service and Local Government committee.

The committee recommended for the President to take over the Executive and Legislative functions of KCCA for six months to stem what MPs have described as “shameful anarchy in the city.”

Hearing starts on June 20 at Metropole Hotel in Kampala.

 

Principal Judge tasks Lukwago probe tribunal on fairness

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