Court dismisses case against Busoga cultural leadership 

Wednesday March 03 2021

Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Nadiope during his 6th coronation anniversary on September 13, 2020. PHOTO | DENIS EDEMA

By Ephraim Kasozi
By Juliet Kigongo

The Constitutional Court has dismissed a petition in which three Busoga clan members were challenging the legality of the election and enthronement of Mr William Wilberforce Nadiope as the Kyabazinga of Busoga.  

Five justices of the Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that they have no basis in law to depart from the established legal principle as it was not shown in the complaint that the grievances could not be resolved without this court first interpreting the Constitution.

“We have taken liberty to examine the petition and the affidavits annexed thereto, including annextures. We have also carefully studied the pleadings of all respondents. We have not been able to find any questions as to the interpretation of the Constitution. There is a dispute nonetheless. However, it is not a dispute as to the interpretation of the Constitution,” the court ruled.

However, the judges did not direct the petitioners to pay legal costs incurred by the Kyabazinga and the Attorney General (AG), reasoning that they had taken into consideration the nature of the relationship between parties involved for the sake of fostering reconciliation.
The judges are deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Kenneth Kakuru, Catherine Bamugemereire, Christopher Madrama and Irene Esther Mulyagonja. 

The court decision resulted from a 2015 constitutional petition in which three people were challenging the legality of election and enthronement of Mr Nadiope as the Kyabazinga of Busoga to replace Mr Edward Wambuzi Zibondo XIII.
Mr Nadiope was elected on August 24, 2014, by Busoga chiefs under their Chiefs Royal Council and coronated on September 13, 2014.

The petitioners are Dan Kawanguzi of Balangira from Busiki Chiefdom, Gideon Isooba (Bulamogi Chiefdom) and Harriet Nanyanga.
They had petitioned court against the Attorney General (AG) and Kyabazinga Nadiope.
They were challenging as unlawful, the acts of the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, when she directed the holding of an election of Mr Nadiope, whom they described as a parallel Kyabazinga in absence of a vacuum.


They had sought for a declaration that the acts of electing and declaring Mr Nadiope the traditional cultural leader of Busoga was inconsistent with the Constitution and the acts by the Gender minister of directing the then prime minister to handover office on directions of the President amounted to interfering with the running the affairs of the cultural institution of Busoga contrary to the Constitution. 
The court reasoned that the issues raised relate to facts, which cannot be addressed by the Constitutional Court. 
The court advised that the petitioners were at liberty to pursue a host of other options available to them including judicial review proceedings at the High Court.