IGP ordered to pay costs for blocking Bobi Wine's Kyarenga concert

May 14, 2020

The judge also quashed the indefinite suspension of Kyarenga extra concerts that were contained in the IGP’s letter dated April 2019.


KAMPALA - The High Court has ordered Police Chief Martin Okoth-Ochola to pay costs for blocking Bobi Wine's Kyarenga concert, which was slated to take place in different parts of the country last year.

Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, the Kyadondo East MP was supposed to perform at One love beach, Busabala, Lira, and Gulu, respectively, but the concert was blocked by the police.

On Wednesday, the Civil Division of the High Court Judge, Esta Nambayo ruled that blocking Bobi Wine's concerts after complying with police directives was illegal, irrational, and amounts an abuse of power.

"In this case, the applicants were the first to write to the police requesting for guidelines and security and the police wrote back detailing the requirements to be fulfilled.

However, when the applicant wrote back to Police explaining they had fulfilled the requirements, they never replied, which was not proper," she noted.

The ruling followed a suit filed by two music promoters, Abbey Musinguzi of Abitex productions and Andrew Mukasa of Bajjo Events and Marketing Agency against the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General, who is the principal legal advisor to Government.

Nambayo also issued an order, restraining the IGP from assuming powers to block music shows and celebrations of a social nature by the music promoters. 

The Judge, however, declined to grant an order, directing Police to allow the concert as requested by the petitioners on grounds that it was overtaken by events.

"Applying the provisions of the law to the facts of this case, I find that the actions of AIGP Asuman Mugenyi writing to the applicants, stopping them from preparing the concerts was not within the law and therefore it is illegality," she noted.

The judge also quashed the indefinite suspension of Kyarenga extra concerts that were contained in the IGP's letter dated April 2019.

She declined to grant damages to the two music promoters as requested for lack of documentary evidence indicating that they suffered loss as a result of banned concerts.

In regard to prayer to declarations of Articles 28, 42, 44 20, 23, and 40, the judge advised the applicants to petition the Constitutional Court for interpretation.

The judge observed that it was wrong for the police to cancel Kyarenga concerts without according to the music promoters a fair hearing.

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