KAMPALA, Uganda: To the knowledgeable of today’s police modus operandi, it’s an open secret that Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura’s decade-long reign at the helm of Uganda Police Force will be tagged with abuse of court orders with unspeakable impunity.
Whereas it has been always blamed on individual police commanders, it can now be believed that the officers are either good students of their top boss, or, are always under strict orders from ‘above.’ This only stands if we are to go by a city tycoon’s move to slap accusations onto the person of Gen. Kayihura that he’s tirelessly conniving with another tycoon to grab his property.
Through his lawyers of Alaka and Co. Advocates, city businessman Charles Muhangi has opened a can of worms in the face of Gen. Kayihura, accusing him of frustrating court rulings and orders to deny him justice. He accuses him of conniving with Francis Drake Lubega, to grab his property premised in plots 50-52 along Nakivubo Road in Kampala, the same popularly known as Baganda Bus Park.
“We are communicating to you our demand, concerns and protest against corruption, irrationality, illegality, unfairness, malafides, bias, non-observance of the rules of human justice, bad faith and all the compromises now within our knowledge which we have reason to believe influenced your decision, especially evident in communication of the Director Human Rights & Legal Services Mr. Erasmus Turyaruhwa, allegedly [on your behalf]” reads in part, the five-page letter/intention to sue.
Gen. Kayihura is accused alongside his juniors Turyaruhwa and Kampala Central Division DPC Joseph Bakaleke. In the June 23rd 2017 dated letter, Muhangi gives the trio only three days to act or they be reprimanded and, or dismissed with disgrace from public service for; “abusing your constitutional oath and offices and for your arrogant contempt of orders of the most superior courts of law.”
It’s an otherwise clear case where, Drake Lubega petitioned the constitutional court, challenging Muhangi’s ownership of the property and the presidential directives in regard to rights to property. Court later pronounced itself, condemning and quashing his (Lubega’s) and police’s actions on March 15th 2014 when, they forcefully threw out Muhangi even with a one-year old court order in places, for maintaining the status quo. The same court maintained that the property be returned to Muhangi.
Police refused to implement the order, claiming they had to first consult the Attorney General for interpretation. Interestingly, the Attorney General was the first respondent against Lubega’s case, alongside Muhangi and the Commissioner Lands Registration. He therefore, as a victor, shouldn’t have bothered to challenge the court results where he was already a victor but alas…! He did.
The reasons the Attorney General gave for shooting self in foot was that there was an impending Appeal to the Supreme Court. “We later discovered that there was a conspiracy between persons in the above mentioned institutions [Police and Attorney General’s office] to buy time for Lubega to obtain an interim injunction from the Supreme Court,” reads the letter.
At the Supreme Court on May 26th 2017, Lubega’s Appeal was dismissed, maintaining the constitutional Court’s pronunciation that Muhangi’s Horizon Coaches be peacefully restored as the rightful owner. To starters, Supreme Court is the most superior Temple of Justice in the land. Above it is God. Indeed, the sober minds in Police Land Protection Commandant Charles Mutungi and Legal officer Eliakim Atumanya rightly bowed to the order.
On June 13th 2017, the duo wrote to the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) Commander, with instructions to have the court order properly implemented. “Read the Court Order very carefully, verify whether its genuine and ascertain the suit property as indicated…[let] the peaceful status quo be restored as existed immediately before the constitutional Petition as it is indicated in the order,” the co-signed directive reads in part.
The two officers proceeded to guide the KMP Commandant thus; “TAKE NOTICE THAT parties are required to obey, observe and abide by this Order and any disobedience of the same shall be cited for Contempt of Court.” Upon receiving it, KMP boss Frank Mwesigwa directed the DPC Joseph Bakaleke to act according to the letter.
“Follow the guidelines as given above. Be professional. Involve RCC, IO RCC, DISO and the LCs before and during the execution. It will need more reinforcement. Get back to me,” Mwesigwa directed Bakaleke. Indeed, documents before us indicate that all the mentioned officers cleared the execution with their signatures and stamps. It was time for Muhangi to get restored.
Enters Gen. Kayihura
Upon the successful clearance by Uganda Police and all the relevant local communities, Muhangi on June 22nd 2017, with all the protection proceeded into the property and was happily, peacefully and jubilantly received by the business community and tenants there. Without a single scenario, he briefed the tenants and informed them of the restoration of his administration.
To everyone’s utter shock, immediately after Muhangi finished relaying his ‘new’ administration structure to the business community, DPC Bakaleke, who had barely three hours ago cleared the execution, swaggered in with new orders to Muhangi and his employees to vacate the premises or face arrest! Saying he had orders from the person of Gen. Kayihura, he handed the property back to Lubega.
Muhangi lawyers insist that the entire fracas confirms the IGP’s personal interest in Lubega’s grabbing of their client’s property. “[It is] satisfying the interests of Mr. Drake Lubega who has been on record for stating that he will spend billions of Shillings to ensure that our client repossesses his property,” they wrote. Indeed, in-depth perusal between lines of the available documents confirms Muhangi’s curiosity.
Contacted Friday evening, Police spokesperson AIGP Asan Kasingye sounded shocked that any police officer can dare overturn any court order, leave alone being from the Supreme Court. “I have never heard of such. A court order is meant to be implemented by police not to be questioned,” he said. On giving him a hint of the story, he promised he would talk to the IGP and get back to us. He didn’t.
However, in a letter written by the legal boss Erasmus Turyaruha on behalf of Gen. Kayihura, he mimed the same old song of ‘Attorney General’s Interpretation.’ He wrote; “This controversy has been going on for more than a decade and it was agreed between the police and the Attorney General that any order concerning that matter should be brought for advice from the principal legal adviser to the government.” He further directed for “no eviction should take place.”
In conclusion, the lawyers partly writes Kayihura thus; “This is therefore to bring it to your attention that our client has suffered enough, the evidence of all the above mentioned decisions, relevant clearances and unfortunate incident are within your knowledge and within our possession… The purpose is to demand that within three days from receipt of this Notice, you restore the peaceful repossession of our client which was interrupted by your biased afterthought decisions…” Watch this space…