Thursday August 21 2014

Lukwago sent to Court of Appeal, vows to fight on

A visibly broken Erias Lukwago

A visibly broken Erias Lukwago addresses the press outside court. Photo by Faiswa Kasirye 

By Anthony Wesaka

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that the Embattled Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s appeal was wrongly filed, he (Mr Lukwago) has vowed to fight up to the end, saying he will not give up.
“It is time for a protracted legal and political battle. I will not allow President Museveni to take over my office. We shall go back to the court of appeal for a proper legal showdown and I will get my office back,” Mr Lukwago vowed.

" I have long been prepared for this war, my tactics are not yet even on display,” said Mr Lukwago before adding that he was heading downtown Kampala to 'explain the ruling to his people.'
The five Supreme Court judges who heard Mr Lukwago’s application challenging a ruling by Justice Steven Kavuma of the Court Appeal unanimously agreed that the case be referred to the Court of Appeal to be heard by a panel of three judges.

The judges included Dr Esther Kisaakye Mayambala who led the panel, Benjamin Odoki, Galdino Okello, John Wilson Tsekooko and Christine Kitumba.

According to the verdict which was read by the Supreme Court Deputy Registrar Opifeni Anguandia on behalf of the five judges, Mr Lukwago did not follow the required procedure in filing his appeal, seeking to overturn the decision of Justice Kavuma that has since kept him (Mr Lukwago) out of office.

Erias Lukwago

Erias Lukwago is comforted by Kampala central MP Nsereko. Photo by Faiswal Kasirye

“The law provides that if a party is not satisfied by the decision of a single judge, then they are required to file their appeal before a panel of three judges of the same court (Court of Appeal). It is only if they are not satisfied by the decision of the panel of the three judges that they can petition the Supreme Court. However, in this case, the applicant (Mr Lukwago) did not follow this procedure as required by the law,” Mr Anguandia read.

Court also ruled that the statusquo remains, that is, Mr Lukwago be kept out of office until his appeal(yet to be filed) be heard and disposed of by a panel of three judges of the Court of Appeal.

This appeal arose on April 1, this year when Mr Lukwago ran to the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the earlier orders of Justice Kavuma of the Court Appeal who had among others kicked him out of City Hall.
Justice Kavuma on March, 31 this year kicked Mr Lukwago out of City Hall barely three hours after resuming his seat.

The actions of Justice Kavuma followed an appeal by AG and KCCA who claimed they were aggrieved with the earlier orders of high court Justice Lydia Mugambe.

Justice Mugambe on March 28, this year ruled that Mr Lukwago’s impeachment by KCCA councilors on November 25, last year was illegal on grounds that there was an existing court order stopping the same purported impeachment. She subsequently ordered for his reinstatement.


March 14: Lukwago is elected as Kampala City Lord Mayor
May 20: Mr Lukwago officially assumes office
May 14: Majority of KCCA councillors lodge a petition to the Minister of Kampala Frank Tumwebaze seeking the removal of Mr Lukwago from the office on grounds of abuse of office, incompetence and misconduct.
June 20: Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Tribunal starts hearing the complaints of the councillors.
November 14: Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Tribunal hands over the report recommending the removal of Mr Lukwago in office
November 25: Deputy Registrar of the High Court Fred Waninda issues an interim injunction stopping Mr Tumwabaze from proceeding to impeach Mr Lukwago from office until his application for judicial review challenging the Bamugemereire Tribunal report was heard and determined.
November 25: At 9:30am, by a majority vote of 29 councillors out of three resolve to vote Mr Lukwago out of office.
November 28: Justice Yasin Nyanzi of the High Court rules that Mr Lukwago was still the Lord Mayor.
February 4: High Court Judge Yasiin Nyanzi declines to disqualify himself from hearing Lukwago’s case saying there was no evidence that he would be biased as claimed by the attorney general.
March 28: High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe reinstates Lukwago back into office saying the controversial impeachment was done illegally.
March 31 2014: Justice Steven Kavuma of Court of Appeal kicks out Mr Lukwago out of office following justice Mugambe’s ruling. The move follows a successful appeal by the Attorney General KCCA lawyers.
April 1 2014: Lukwago runs to the Supreme Court to appeal the orders of Justice Kavuma.
April 21: Supreme Court rules that Lukwago’s appeal was properly before them and ordered that it should be heard.
April 24: Supreme Court justices hear out Lukwago’s appeal and reserve the ruling on notice.
August 5: Makerere University KCCA councillor Bernard Luyiga petitions Leader of Opposition in Parliament Wafula Oggutu to intervene in the delayed Supreme Court ruling, saying the Kampala electorate was being denied representation at City Hall.
August 19: Registrar of the Supreme Court issues a ruling notice calling the concerned parties in Mr Lukwago case to appear in court and receive the ruling on August 21.
August 21: In a unanimous ruling, the five justices of the Supreme Court ordered Mr Lukwago to seek his redress from the Court of Appeal saying they do not have the jurisdiction to entertain an appeal arising from decisions or orders made by a single judge of the Court of Appeal.

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