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AG: Lukwago will only return to office when new term starts

Lukwago talking to the press last week.
Lukwago talking to the press last week.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago will not be allowed to return to his office until the current term expires and he is duly sworn in.

The Attorney General yesterday advised that it would be contempt of court orders to allow the Lord Mayor back today as he had wished.

Through a letter signed April 13, 2016 by Denis Bireije for the Solicitor General, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jennifer Musisi was told that the Attorney General’s instructions were that  “it would be contempt of court orders for Mr Erias Lukwago to access the office of the Lord Mayor, perform any function or derive any benefit that comes with the office in the current term unless and until the court orders otherwise.”

The court, in reference, is Lukwago’s appeal to the Supreme Court seeking to vacate the orders issued by the Court of Appeal (App No 6 of 2014) barring him from office. The matter came up for hearing on April 11, 2014.

“You are advised to inform Messrs Lukwago and Co Advocates that you would be acting in contempt of the Order 4 of the Supreme Court by complying with their demands because the said Order precludes Mr Erias Lukwago from accessing the office of the Lord Mayor and performing its incidental duties during the current term.”

The letter goes on to say that “as the Lord Mayor-elect, Mr Erias Lukwago can only access the office of the Lord Mayor upon expiration of the current term and after being duly sworn in and handed instruments of the power.”

Lukwago cannot therefore, the letter concludes, be paid a salary or derive any benefit from the office of the Lord Mayor until the final determination of the matters before court.

Mayor vows to return

Last week, Lukwago said nothing would stop him from entering his office next week.

“I wish to reiterate my earlier communication that I will officially access the Lord Mayor’s parlour on Thursday 14th April at 11am as there are no legal fetters stopping me from doing so. All the relevant government officials have been notified in writing.”

Lukwago, who won the recent elections by close to 80%, said staff last month reopened his office to have it cleaned and refurbished to prepare his coming. Lukwago frustrated with KCCA’s conduct of duties said, “KCCA hasn’t been paying my salary of 18million per month since 2013, and I incur big expenses on vehicle maintenance and others which should be sorted out by the Authority.”

Lukwago’s demands

In a notice addressed to the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority through Lukwago and Co. Advocates, Lukwago demanded an apology from the Authority for the fallacious statement barring the client from accessing the office and payments of his salary arrears together with the staff attached to his office that accrued since November 2013 ought be paid not exceeding 15th April.

Also informed about his official admission to the office of the Lord Mayor on Thursday 14th April 2016 at 11:00am and the director of Human Resource ought to prepare necessary arrangements to receive him. And client requested the responsible directors to liaise with his team ( Personal Assistant and Political Assistant) for preparations of the swearing in ceremony and signatory process.

Lastly he requested the technical staff to desist from uttering or issuing provocative remarks or statements that would inflame the volatile environment at KCCA.

Sequence of court events

March 28 2014 – Lukwago sought for and was granted a temporary injunctiion restraining the Attorney General, the Electoral Commission, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Eng Badru Kiggundu from acting in contempt of a court order by declaring his seat vacant and organising a by-eleciton for his position. In effect, this meant that he could go back to office and indeed,  Lukwago went back to office on March 31, 2014.

 

On March 31, 2014 – Court of Appeal restrained  Lukwago from performing the functions of the Lord Mayor of KCCA pending determination of the main application. The main application referred to in the order was supposed to be fixed and heard within a period of 21 days.

On April 11, 2014 – Before the 21 days lapsed, Mr Erias Lukwago applead to the Supreme Court seeking to vacate the orders issued by the Court of Appeal (App No 6 of 2014). The matter came up for hearing on April 11, 2014.

 

 

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