By Annet Ahumuza
“The Court of Appeal said the Attorney General Chambers should have sought to set aside the consent decree in High Court Civil Suit No. 550 of 2016 as an aggrieved party but not allowing the Commission of Inquiry to appeal its Executive orders yet it was not party”.
However, in the ruling of the High Court dated 30th November by Justice Bashaija, it was observed that
Ruling dated 30th November 2018 by Honorable Justice Bashaija K Andrew in high court, it was observed that something was not adding up. The Land Probe Commission was being told of a ruling that could not be located.
The Secretary of the Commission of Inquiry, Dr Douglas Singiza wrote to the Attorney General raising issues.
“We are having difficulty in accessing the file for HCCS no .456 of 2016 and HCMA No. 1525 of 2016 as the same appears to be missing from the High court land division registry and the archives”.
Singiza said “We sought to access the file to obtain copies of the judgment and ruling thereon but were surprised to be told that the files were missing”.
Nevertheless, we have reason to believe that the “judgment on admission” was entered by and presided over by the same Honorable Justice Bashaija K Andrew in his previous position as a judge at the land division.
The Honorable Justice Bashaija is now also the Judge in the instant application for judicial review in the civil division which is premised on the basis that the commission of inquiry has acted contrary to his previous orders.
The Court of Appeal with three Justices led by Hon Kenneth Kakuru, Stephen Musota and Christopher Madrama were not willing to look at main issues. A writer said they have used a sword to kill a fly.
Otherwise by deciding a small application on technicalities have almost technically disposed the whole appeal.
Court of Appeal Judges had set a precedence of standing up against such huge payments where government is going to lose billions.
The Attorney General is mandated to represent government agencies but could unscrupulous people be intentionally making government lose or aid it losing cases.
If a whole judgment involving the Attorney General Chambers is missing and no attempts to make an alarm, could it be they don’t want to open a bottle of worms.
The Attorney General had sought to stay execution of orders that were made by the High Court Judge Justice Andrew Bashija saying that the government will suffer loss of over Shs9bn in questionable claims of payments to Daniel Walugembe, a land dealer.
Led by Justice Kenneth Kakuru, the three Justices of the Court of Appeal including Justice Stephen Musota and Justice Christopher Madrama, upheld the decision of the lower court.
Walugembe challenged a decision by Bamugemereire’s Commission which in an August 2, 2018 letter to the Uganda Land Commission directed that he is not paid compensation for his land but rather the landlord.
The Commission of Inquiry had written to Uganda Land Commission to stay the payments as it was investigating how Pastor Walugembe accessed land titles from its owners.