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Lukwago awaits court decision on tribunal legality

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th June 2013 10:43 AM

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago will have to wait till tomorrow when court is expected give a ruling on whether the tribunal instituted to review a petition by city councilors calling for his sacking, can proceed with its work.

Lukwago awaits court decision on tribunal legality

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago will have to wait till tomorrow when court is expected give a ruling on whether the tribunal instituted to review a petition by city councilors calling for his sacking, can proceed with its work.

By Andante Okanya

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago will have to wait till tomorrow when court is  expected  give a ruling on whether the tribunal instituted to review a petition by city councilors calling for his sacking, can proceed with its work.

On Wednesday, Justice Vincent Zehurikize of the High Court in Kampala had been expected to hear an application for an interim injunction seeking to temporarily halt the tribunal from  proceeding, pending hearing of the main case challenging  its composition. The tribunal is scheduled to start hearing today at Metropole Hotel located in the upscale city suburb of Kololo.

The Attorney General's(AG) representative director civil litigation Cheborion Barishaki and principal state attorney Wanyama Kodoli, raised a preliminary objection.They wanted the case dismissed, arguing that Lukwago had filed a similar case at the Constitutional Court.

"Both cases seek to stop the tribunal from carrying out  its work.Both seek to stop agents  of Government from carrying out their duties," Barishaki stated, and added that the AG should have been listed as the only tribunal and not the tribunal as  a co-respondent.

However, Lukwago's legal team composed  of Caleb Alaka, Medard Ssegona, Chrisestom Katumba, Julius Galisonga, Samuel Muyizzi, and Abdullah Mubiru, argued that the cases filed at both the High and Constitutional Courts, were distinct.

"The complaint in this instant case arose after we had filed a Constitutional petition. The root cause of this  is how the tribunal is constituted," argued Alaka.

Ssegona noted that the case was rightly filed, asserting that powers for hearing a judicial review application, is vested in the High Court, which is superior to the tribunal. Judicial review is conducted by the High Court in relation to proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts and inferior tribunals or bodies.

In his ruling, the judge agreed with Lukwago's legal  team, and  dismissed the AG's objection. The parties are expected to make written submissions to enable  the judge make his ruling tomorrow. The courtroom was filled with Lukwago's supporters and prominent politicians.

The tribunal chairperson is Anti-Corruption Court judge Catherine Bamugemereire, together with 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.

On May 17, a group of 17 KCCA councilors 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 willfully engaging in acts of public incitement against payment of city dues, and impeded KCCA revenue collection efforts.

The tribunal was instituted by 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.

On June 14 during the pre-hearing meeting at the hotel, three officers Robert Kirunda(legal secretary), Daniel Rutiba(lead counsel), and Titus Kamya(deputy lead counsel), were added to the tribunal.

Hearing of the pending Constitutional petition, challenging Tumwebaze's move to institute the tribunal, is fixed for June 25, while  the main case at High Court  is fixed for June 27.

Lukwago awaits court decision on tribunal legality tomorrow

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