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Mabirizi challenges DPP’s move to take over Bujjingo trial

City lawyer Male Mabirizi.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lawyer Male Mabirizi has filed another case at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala challenging a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions-DPP to take over a case in which Pastor Aloysius Bujjingo is accused of bigamy.

Bujjingo, the Pastor of House of Prayer Ministries in Kampala, is accused of contracting marriage by customary law with Susan Makula when already married to Teddy Naluswa, a marriage contracted on December 20, 2003, at Victory Christian Centre. But without its formal dissolution, he allegedly married Makula under customary law on December 7, 2021, in Kawuku, Wakiso district.

Makula on the other hand is charged with contracting marriage with Bujjingo well aware that he is legally married to another woman. The matter was first presented before the courts by lawyers; Male Mabirizi and Robert Rutaro Muhairwe who instituted private prosecution proceedings against Bujjingo and Makula after their alleged traditional marriage ceremony. Last month, Entebbe Grade One Magistrate Stella Okwong Paculal consolidated the two private prosecution cases and charged Bujjingo on two counts, and Makula on one count.

At that time, Entebbe Resident Chief State Attorney Janet Kitimbo told the court that the DPP was not interested in prosecuting the two. But in a turn of events, Kitimbo said, in a letter dated January 12, 2022, to Entebbe Chief Magistrate’s Court, that the DPP is now taking over the consolidated case and asked Mabirizi and Rutaro to provide the office of the DPP with information and documents regarding the cases.

Mabirizi and Rutaro now argue that DPP’s decision is null and void and that it contravenes the Magistrates’ Courts Act, as well as sections of the 1995 Constitution. Speaking to journalists at the High Court in Kampala on Monday, Mabirizi accused the DPP of being ‘unserious’ and only interested in taking over and ‘killing’ his cases. He now wants a judicial review from the High Court to quash the DPP’s decision.

He cited previous cases where he is challenging Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the former Presidential candidate at Wakiso, Buganda Road, LDC and Nakawa Courts over academic qualifications and age discrepancies which the DPP took over but meddled the proceedings.

Although Bujjingo has since denied the accusations arguing that he never conducted an introduction ceremony, but only honoured an invitation by Makula’s parents, the litigants rubbished it saying they have obtained evidence from the Uganda Communications Commission-UCC and the Ministry of Gender, Labour that pins him.

Bujjingo is expected to appear in court on 21 January 2022 to defend himself against the accusations. Once convicted, he and Makula face a five-year jail sentence for each of the offences.



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