June 21, 2013

Court orders Lukwago to Face KCCA Tribunal

High Court in Kampala has declined to halt on-going proceedings of a tribunal investigating a petition to remove Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.

Justice Vincent Zehurikize ruled that Lukwago’s application to stop the tribunal lacked merit because he produced no evidence to show that his rights were in danger of being violated if the tribunal continued with its work.

The judge however counselled Lukwago that he had a second chance to stop the tribunal in his main application which is set for hearing on 27th of June.  He said Lukwago was also free to challenge the findings of the tribunal once it had completed its work.

The same court also declined to force three members of the tribunal to step down. The three members are: Dan Rutiba acting as the lead counsel, Titus Kamya as deputy lead counsel and Robert Kirunda as legal secretary. Lukwago asked that they be forced off the tribunal because they had been illegally elected to the panel which had no mandate to do so.

Lukwago had challenged the legality of the tribunal which was constituted by Minister for the Presidency and Kampala Frank Tumwebaze. Lukwago tabled his objection that the tribunal was working against the rules and regulations of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

Lukwago was not in court to hear the ruling. His lawyer Abdullah Mubiru explained that his client was in hospital receiving treatment.

Lukwago’s convoy was tear-gassed on Thursday as the Kampala mayor made his way to the venue where the tribunal meets at Metropole Hotel. He had attempted to stop and acknowledge the cheers of his supporters.

Headed by Anti-Corruption Court judge Catherine Bamugemereire, on the tribunal are also lawyer Alfred Okello-Oryem and retired civil servant Ocaya Lakidi.

The tribunal was constituted on May 17 in response to a petition signed by 17 KCCA councillors who petitioned Minister for Kampala Tumwebaze to remove Lukwago from office. The petitioners contended that Lukwago had abused his office, was incompetent and deliberately tried to fail KCCA directives like payment of city dues

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