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Anti-graft court faces closure again

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By ANTHONY WESAKA

Posted  Wednesday, March 19   2014 at  02:00
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Kampala.
Operations of the Anti- Corruption Court could once again be suspended if the Supreme Court agrees with city lawyer Davis Wesley Tusingwire, who is challenging the constitutionality of the magistrates attached to this Division of the High Court as being unconstitutional.
Mr Tusingwire, through his lawyer Fred Muwema, on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily suspend the operations of the Kololo-based court until his grievances are determined.

He wants the operations suspended until his appeal in which he is challenging the decision of the Constitutional Court that held that the court was properly formed based on the Constitution is disposed off.
Mr Muwema made the submissions before a panel of five justices led by Bart Katureebe.

The contention
Mr Muwema’s core argument was that the law does not provide for magistrates to sit in the High Court and therefore it is unconstitutional for magistrates to sit under the High Court, Anti-Corruption Division and issue orders.

But in response, Principal State Attorney Phillip Mwaka opposed Mr Tusingwire’s application.
Mr Mwaka, who based his submissions on the sworn affidavit of Mr Fred Waninda, the Registrar of the Anti-Corruption Court, argued that the designated magistrates exercise their magisterial criminal jurisdiction in accordance with Section 161 of the Magistrate Act.

The Supreme Court said it will give its ruling on whether or not to halt the operations of the Anti-Corruption Court at a later date, which by press time, was not known, (ruling on notice).

The court was established in 2009 by then Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki under article 133 of the constitution to combat corruption in the country.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com