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Court awards UGX 70m to Ishaka-Bushenyi municipal officials for illegal interdiction

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The High Court in Mbarara has awarded 70 million shillings to three interdicted Ishaka-Bushenyi municipal officials for illegal interdiction.

The officials are Deus Nuwagaba, municipal senior engineer, Robert Nuwagira, procurement officer and Jackson Muhwezi, the municipal treasurer.

Through their lawyers, Ngaruye Ruhindi, Spencer and Company Advocates, the officials argued that the speaker of the municipal council convened a council meeting on March 7, 2018, and passed a resolution interdicting them for allegedly embezzling funds.

They further say that the procedure taken by the council to interdict them was illegal and principles of natural justice were not followed.

Delivering his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Dr Flavian Zeija said that the three officials were put through a lot of inconveniences, both psychologically and physically by going to court to prevent the alleged illegalities. He said they were unsettled at the prospect of losing jobs without being accorded a right to be heard.

“In the result, I award 20 million shillings for each of the applicants and 30 million shillings to Deus Nuwagaba given that his car was vandalized and the respondent is ordered to pay the taxed costs of the suit.

Justice Zeija also issued an injunction restraining Bushenyi Ishaka municipal officials from implementing the illegalities of the municipal council.

In March, the Local Government Minister Raphael Magezi ordered the interdiction of Muhwezi and Nuwagaba for corruption-related cases. This is after the Mayor Jackson Kamugasha and several councilors petitioned the minister to intervene in the loss of Shillings 194 million local revenue disbursed to the municipality.

Nuwagaba is accused of having embezzled roads funds leading to shoddy and incomplete road works while Muhwezi is accused of single handily allocating funds to different sectors without consulting the municipal finance committee. He is also accused of not preparing monthly financial reports that have since created mistrust and suspicion amongst councilors.



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