You, who are bashing the Honourable Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, have you read the report in total? Do you know what ‘prima facie case’ means? She has not adjudged that Mr. Erias Lukwago is guilty; neither has she held that he be removed from office- she executed her duties with admirable integrity and in an expeditious manner. Politicians should stop bashing the bench- when it rules in their favor, all of a sudden it has admirable qualities. Against them, it is rotten, political, etc. man up! Hire good lawyers for instance, not political actors camouflaging as such.
Our public should also be pro active; the report has been on line since it was released. Their press should have published it in full- though World Cup qualifiers seem to occupy most pages; tellingly.
Every person who is convicted or acquitted by the Courts of Judicature in Uganda, goes through a process where the prosecution has to prove there is on the ‘face of it'(prima facie) bearing in mind the evidence on the file, a case to answer. After that initial step, the person is subjected to a full trial to determine his innocence or guilt. A finding of a prima facie case does not mean one is guilty. I hope that helps.
Justice is a virtue. So is truth. If you look at the evidence tabled before the Justice, I wonder what she should have arrived at other than her conclusion that on the face of it, the Lord Mayor had indeed abused his office and not carried out the duties he was meant to carry out competently. The truth therefore undid Mr Lukwago. People should take the time to read the report before they render an opinion.
In the report she duly clarified on the issue some of you have brought up on UAH and in her opinion the Act phrases the offenses in criminal terminology. The proceedings are of a civil nature. The purpose of the tribunal was to investigate and not prosecute the Lord Mayor. However, I daresay, there are endless possibilities open to Lukwago and his ilk to seek redress even after the impeachment. Cue, Theodore Ssekikubo and Niwagaba’s appeal process.
if there is one thing the tribunal emphasised then it is the positivist school of law idea that, ‘the law is what it is not what it ought to be.” the failure of LORD MAYOR as found by the tribunal could be attributed to several factors not of his own making but then the result was that he failed. And that is what the tribunal pointed out. Now I don’t think it wise to say that because the president or any other person has failed in their duties and are still standing, lukwago should not be brought to account. As selective as it seems, it is important that he was asked to account.
‘prema facie’ means on the face of it. For example, if you see a pregnant woman you cannot ask her if she is pregnant yet the evidence is there. So please ‘prema facie’ means the evidence that you can see with your open eyes. Please revisit your law books again.
Justice is a virtue, and it is possessed in the senses of every human being. You and I know that provisions in the law for removal from office are reserved for the rarest occasions. for example, the same provisions appear in the constitution for removal of a sitting presidency, inability to perform the functions of the office, incompetence, abuse of office, etc. If you go by Hon. Lady Justice Catherine’s evaluation of evidence for the establishment of a primafacie case, then you will open a can of worms, unless of course such provisions were only written to be read to the members of opposition. It is easy to blame the opposition because it doesn’t matter how careful they trade, they are bound to be found on the wrong side of the law.
There were no circumstances warranting invoking the said provisions, if you read the Watergate scandal, you will find that almost in all cases which warrant removal from office, criminal prosecution must follow, if indeed lukwago had abused his office, the judge would have included a recommendation to forward his file to the DPP for investigation and prosecution. Equally so, since the allegations connote criminal elements, she should never have evaluated the evidence on an ordinary balance of probabilities.
For example, on incompetence, the evidence that was adduced was failure to convene meetings, but there were conflicting accounts of meetings convened and boycotted.
The common law position is that once the facts disclose criminal tendencies, the burden of proof must be slightly higher than a mere balance of probabilities. This is well stated in the law textbook called “learning the law: Prof. Glaniville william”. See also sexual offences, proof of paternity, and it’s the same reason used in election petitions.
Almost all the grounds that the Councillor relied on ought to have been particularized, for example, they should have pleaded the particulars of facts constituting abuse of office in the petition and not wait for the tribunal to fish them in the body of evidence. I also think it was wrong for the tribunal to constitute itself into a Trier of fact as opposed to a tribunal of inquiry into the conduct of the office of the mayor and that’s where the theory of a primafacie case becomes defeatist. You do not establish a primafacie case after listening to the evidence of the accused. It must come before. The point is that if before choosing to hear the lukwagos, her lordship had subjected the evidence and accusations of the councillors to the test of a primafacie case, she would have found no case to answer.
The government (read minister of trade) is incompetent and should be blamed for the tax fiasco. The government conceded in parliament that a review of the tax regime (in particular to UTODA or taxi) needed urgent review. The minister even promised parliament that she is going to suspend the SI “immediately” but she did not. Taxes ones paid to government are not refundable. A tax payer can have that credited to his account but that’s only if every tax payer has an account. In the circumstances, the politician in Lord Mayor told him some action is needed which the minister has reneged on. Legally one can fault Lord Mayor for not adhering to the letter of the law. But taxes are the lynch pin of a political economy. Courts (or tribunals) should be aware of the politics and economy and that’s why the Supreme Court held against Kiza Besigye petition in 2001. Never should courts look at issues in purely legal lenses otherwise a single ruling can trigger unthinkable chaos.
I like how lawyers know how to hide simple issues in layers and layers of long-winding-statements and old Latin! Who can’t see what is happening??? Why now? Has the top echelon suddenly developed “feelings” for the people of the city after watching for 2 decades Individuals who by any standards are more incompetent, negligent and/or ignorant than the (soon to be booted) Lord Mayor! Let’s keep this as political as it should be, arguing the law in a plain-to-see will cause us to think “who cares about the law after-all!!!
I therefore disagree with the analogy of ‘prima facie’ case in criminal trials obtaining in your arguments. The process after the prima facie case in the tribunal finding will entitle the KCCA to constitute to begin impeachment process. That process does not require any law or evidence as opposed to criminal trials. The councillors will vote basing on whims (perhaps political) and not law or evidence. Anyway, I think the spirit in which the tribunal was appointed was so bad and does not set a good precedent for our country. The KCCA has never been constituted and the minister had never bothered to have it fully constituted. Why now???? What was so hard with that two years running? Now, the last four councillors they have elected are all from western Uganda as if other regions don’t produce professionals. As such, I cannot make any value criticism of the tribunal of fact or law headed by Justice Bamugemereire because of its inception.
I do not think that the mayor is incompetent, he is educated, knows the law and meets all the requirements for the office but most importantly he was elected by the people. He never abused office; did not embezzle any money and did nothing outside his mandate. I even have a feeling that the report was not authored by the judge; it contradicts itself in several material particulars. But anyway who cares, we have new councillors none of whom resides in Kampala and all westerners!