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Principal judge blames govt in Lukwago row

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Police stand guard as Mr Lukwago returned to City Hall early this week. The principal judge wants the two parties to reach an amicable solution. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE. 

By ANTHONY WESAKA

Posted  Thursday, April 3   2014 at  19:33
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Kampala.

Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine has said the bad blood between the Executive and the Judiciary stemming from orders on Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago smacks of insanity, tainting the credibility of courts.

Justice Bamwine’s concern stems from the order that had reinstated Mr Lukwago as Lord Mayor before an injunction issued by Justice Steven Kavuma of the Court of Appeal stayed execution of the order.

Last week Justice Lydia Mugambe had ruled that the continued ouster of Mr Lukwago from his office by KCCA and Kampala Minister, Mr Frank Tumwebaze was illegal.

The ruling effectively reinstated Mr Lukwago; however, he was on Monday thrown out three hours after he had returned to office, following government’s appeal against Justice Mugambe’s order.

“I am disturbed by the on-going disputes between two arms of government - the Executive and the Judiciary. The Executive calls the Judiciary names and the Judiciary responds likewise with equal force. Where is the sanity here?” asked Justice Bamwine in a statement to the Daily Monitor.

“The High Court makes orders; they are either rubbished by the Executive or reversed immediately. Ironically, we are witnessing this at a time when the Judiciary is all out to enhance public confidence in the institution,” he added.

The Principal Judge who heads the High Court said as the war of words escalates, peace eludes the city, the image of the Judiciary gets dented, the Executive is seen as acting high handed and the judicial system is viewed as decadent.

However, while responding to Justice Bamwine’s concerns, the Minister for Kampala and Presidency Frank Tumwebaze said Lukwago was not fighting the Executive but councillors who impeached him.
“We, however, welcome any meaningful mediation as offered by Justice Bamwine to solve the current impasse,” said Mr Tumwebaze.
In his statement, Justice Bamwine made an appeal that would allow him mediate between the two parties and have a solution to the impasse that has characterised KCCA since the election of Mr Lukwago.
In November, KCCA councillors convened a meeting chaired by Mr Tumwebaze that voted to impeach Mr Lukwago, following Justice Catherine Bumugemereira’s report that convicted the Lord Mayor of incompetency and abuse of office.

what he thinks
According to Justice Bamwine, the government and the Lukwago group should seek an amicable resolution and chart a way forward. He says the saga is tarnishing the credibility of government and the Judiciary.