By Ellady Muyambi
Government’s resort to the use of force or threats in the Lukwago case will culminate in disaster
I am compelled to write this article after viewing ugly and worse scenes on our national TV stations and reading concocted stories in our newspapers on the impeachment of the Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA’s) Lord Mayor, His Lordship, Erias Lukwago.
I would like to stress that the problems surrounding the current power struggles at KCCA were created by the NRM’s fake KCCA Act. I hear that it was passed by not more than 30 MPs. Secondly, the petitioners seeking to remove His Lordship Erias Lukwago from his elective office did not approach the case honestly and reasonably.
At the heart of their case is a deliberate and cynical lie, to the effect that, the Lord Mayor is guilty of explicit gross misconduct in public office. There is a big body of convincing evidence on public records which reveals the use of intimidation and bribery to induce false testimonies, from the petitioning councilors.
The petitioners are the same dishonest councilors, who were recently directed by the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government and Public Service; each to refund Shs31 million, which they dishonestly claimed as sitting allowances for a period of seven months during which they intentionally refused to attend KCCA meetings called by the Lord Mayor Lukwago.
To me, the tribunal that investigated Lukwago is itself incompetent. I even sensed this when it started requesting for more time to be able to complete investigations. We cannot accept its report which faulted only Lukwago and exonerated the councilors as well as the KCCA’s Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi who refused to attend council meetings.
As for the fiasco on the impeachment day, I totally condemn what I saw. I totally do not understand why the Minister for Kampala, Frank Tumwebaze, refused to obey the court order and why Lukwago’s lawyer, Abdallah Kiwanuka was beaten like a chicken thief while delivering a court documents.
If police can do such a thing before the cameras, what more does it do in the periphery? In the first place, the application by Lukwago before the Registrar was not exparte. The Attorney General was represented in court. Of course, the Attorney General is not only limited to Peter Nyombi but it stretches to any officer duly nominated to represent the Attorney General in court.
Frank Tumwebaze argues on how one would pay court fees before the opening of banks. He needs to know that you can now pay taxes on mobile money and or online banking and these facilities are operational 24 hours.
Frank Tumwebaze also wonders how court would be open by 08:00am but he should know that Ugandan Courts have handled election petitions late in the evening. Is there a law that bars court being that early?
Is there any law that nullifies court decisions on account of doing business that early? And what was the Attorney General’s officer doing there that early? His argument would have held water if he had been denied representation on the basis of failing to be in court by late coming.
Court is final in determining whether the process was lawful or a nullity. Court has duly pronounced itself. That is final. The Attorney General’s opinion does not bind court. The Lukwago cause has been legitimised by court and government’s resort to the use of or threat of use of force will culminate into a total disaster and with catastrophic results.
The writer is the Secretary General, Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control (UNETMAC), and also Executive Director, Historic Resources Conservation Initiatives (HRCI). Email: [email protected] and Tel: +256 (0) 712 213 888