Lawyer Mabirizi takes case against Kabaka to Supreme Court

KAMPALA. Lawyer Male Kiwanuka Mabirizi has faulted the Court of Appeal judgment dismissing with costs an order requiring the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Mutebi to reveal financial secrets citing failure to properly evaluate the pleadings and evidence on record.

In the notice of appeal filed on Tuesday, Mr Mabirizi outlined 44 reasons blaming the three member panel of judges for deviating from the issues framed by the parties and proceeded on their own.

“…the said judgment, rulings, orders and omissions as the learned justices of Appeal injudiciously exercised their discretion to order the respondent (Mabairizi) to pay legal costs incurred yet among other factors, the appellant (Kabaka) was found in fault,

” stated Mr Mabirizi adding that the same court found that Kabaka of Buganda ignored the notice of produce documents.

The notice of appeal was filed hardly a day after the Court of Appeal judges led by Fredrick Egonda-Ntende dismissed with costs an order requiring the Kabaka of Buganda to present financial statements regarding all the monies collected from the people living on Kabaka land.

The financial statements required were in regard to bank accounts in Stanbic Bank (Forest Mall), Bank of Africa (Main Branch) all in the names of Buganda Land Board.

However, in a unanimous judgment delivered on Monday, the judges ruled that courts cannot exercise their discretion to grant orders for discovery on oath and inspection based on a case that is not maintainable in law.

The judges reasoned that the facts disclosed in the case in which Mr Mabirizi is challenging the compulsory registration of people living on the king’s land, point to private rights rather than infringement of fundamental human rights or freedoms.

In June 2017, High Court Judge Patricia Basaza had ordered the Kabaka of Buganda to present particulars of official mailo land returned by government by virtue of Article 243 Clause 3(a) and the Traditional Rulers Act in terms of county, block and plot numbers.

The Court had also ordered the Kabaka to provide details of all individuals occupying the said land indicating amounts paid by each person and variances if any.

According to the notice, Mr Mabirizi contends that the Appeal court judges decided that the main case pending before the High Court is not tenable which did not arise out of the grounds of appeal presented by the Kabaka.

“…failed in their duty, as a first appellate court to properly evaluate the material before them and hence reached wrong conclusions in setting aside the ruling of the High Court judge.

The learned judges of the appeal held that the appellant did not fail to take essential steps in instituting of the appeal yet it is glaring that the appeal was filed out of time,” he states.

He contends that the Court of Appeal judges deviated from the compulsory and clear provisions of the Evidence Act, which sets payment for certified copies as a condition precedent to obtaining of such copies and that the court treated the none-payment of certification fees as payment of insufficient fees yet the appellant did not pay a single penny and there was nothing to top up.

The notice is yet to be transmitted to the registrar of the Supreme Court where the final appeal will be handled.

By Daily Monitor

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