Uganda’s IGG Irene Mulyagonja yesterday refused to comment on the ongoing standoff between Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and the central government, saying the matter is subjudice.
The subjudice rule requires that matters which are before court for determination shouldn’t be commented upon especially in a manner capable of influencing the judge.
Mulyagonja was prompted by a journalist who demanded to know why she wasn’t pronouncing herself on the impending stand off between the executive and judiciary over perceived determination by executive to defy Justice Yasiin Nyanzi’s ruling re-instating Lukwago.
The journalists became curious when Mulyagonja told them the inspectorate she heads has a mandate to contribute on the quality of governance in Uganda besides fighting corruption.
“On the ongoing contempt of court in Kampala…what do you have to say about it as the IGG and former Judge,” a journalist asked.
Mulyagonja said: “That matter is subjudice. It’s before court for determination and it’s not proper to comment about it now.”
She explained that whereas they are mandated to pronounce themselves on governance issues, the IG officers are not expected to take partisan positions.
“The other day an organization came asking us to speak out on term limits limiting the Movement’s tenure but we refused because that isn’t expected of us as the Inspectorate,” she said.
Mulyagonja was speaking to reporters after seeing off Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi who was chief walker in the city match the Ombudsman organized against corruption.
The anti-corruption match went around the city and ended at National Theatre gardens where Mulyagonja addressed a news conference. The match is part of the week-long activities meant to mark 25 years of existence for the IGG’s office. The events climax next Monday with a public debate on corruption in Kampala.
The Lukwago issue, which Mulyagonja refused to comment about, has ignited angry debate in the country with MPs vowing to censure Kampala Minister Frank Tumwebaze accusing him of contempt of court.
During a specially-convened news conference last Friday, Mbabazi, supported by police and a host of cabinet ministers, announced governnent wouldn’t be bound by Justice Nyanzi’s court order because he didn’t issue it in good faith. He accordingly ordered police and KCCA ED Jennifer Musisi not to allow Lukwago gain any access to city hall, the headquarters of KCCA.
The state’s actions have since attracted angry reactions from civic leaders such as the Buganda Katikkiro Peter Mayiga and Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga who has since despised police brutality saying it’s reminiscent of Amin’s days.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo yesterday morning appeared on NBS TV’s morning breeze and dismissed Lwanga saying he has no moral authority to speak for Catholics in Uganda.