CORNERED! Col.Nakalema powers challenged in court
By our reporter
The constitutional court has been asked to check on powers of Col. Edith Nakalema’s State House Anti-Corruption unit or disband it completely. The petition has been filed by KCCA councilor-Jeremiah Keeyo Mwanje, Kawempe Division speaker -Justus Akampurira, Thomas Bagonza, a student of law and businessman Darius Muteesa.
Through their lawyers of Kigenyi-Opira and Company Advocates, the petitioners want court to declare that the creation and activities of SHAU are illegal, inconsistent with paragraphs 11(i) and v (i) of the National Objectives and Directive principles of the State Policy and articles 1,20,23,27,28,44, and 99(3) of the constitution.
They further want the court to declare that SHAU is not constitutionally empowered to investigate, arrest and detain any suspect. They reason such powers were given to Uganda police through the Criminal Investigation Department or the office of the Inspector General of Government. They also want the court to declare that SHAU is not constitutionally empowered to probe, arrest, and detain suspects since they are not stipulated in the laws of Uganda.
They seek a court declaration that all investigations, arrests, detentions made by SHAU are illegal and in contravention with the constitution. The petitioners also want the court to disband SHAU with immediate effect because President Yoweri Museveni didn’t follow the laws when he was establishing the unit in 2018.
They want the 1st Respondent, the Attorney General, be ordered to release all detainees arrested and in custody on orders of SHAU. Court has also been asked to make a permanent injunction restraining SHAU from carrying on with its functions. “Col.Nakalema activities and those generally of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit have extended to granting something akin to police bond in instances where she sees fit to do so and where her investigations are still being carried on,” the affidavit filed in court reads, stressing that SHAU’s actions contravenes the doctrine of presumption of innocence and kills their reputation in the public. The affidavit further adds that SHAU uses public servants like army officers, lawyers and other security detectives to execute which contravenes the law. They also accuse Col Nakalema of illegally using government funds through State house to run the activities of the agency which is illegal. The respondents have 15 days to file their response.