KAMPALA- Court has ruled that Kampala Minister, Ms Betty Olive Kamya cannot be compelled to appear in court to answer allegations of interfering with the executive powers the Kampala Lord Mayor’s executive powers, by passing-off as the political head of the city.
Mr Lukwago is the Kampala Lord Mayor.
In her ruling, High Court Judge Henrietta Wolayo said that the minister is not compellable to appear in court but she can only appear voluntarily to justify her actions of claiming to be the political head of Kampala City.
“When a party swears an affidavit in a matter before court, he or she may appear voluntarily but cannot be compelled,” Justice Wolayo said before adjourning the matter to August 30.
The judge’s ruling followed Ms Kamya’s failure to appear before court on several attempts for cross examination by Mr Lukwago’s lawyers over her sworn affidavit defending her conduct.
Mr Lukwago, through his lawyer, Mr Chrysostom Katumba had asked court to summon the Ms Kamya to explain why she declared the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) council meetings illegal.
She was also expected to explain how Kampala city is governed by the central government , where she gets the mandate to convene meetings with urban councillors and mayors and why she subjects Mr Lukwago to ministerial clearance before travelling abroad.
However, the minister through Mr Mc Dusman Kabega, her lawyer, opposed Mr Lukwago's application and submitted that everything she does is within the KCCA Act and government standing policy.
“There is no reason that has been raised that requires my client to appear for cross examination since most of the points being raised are matters of the law,” Mr Kabega said.
Mr Lukwago sued the minister claiming that she assumed his mandate to serve as the duly-elected mayor of the city and even went ahead, on January 23, 2018, to suspend Council meetings yet that is the forum where deliberations and decisions on how to govern the city are made.
According to court documents, the minister stalled council meetings on grounds that they are illegal and no longer relevant to the city, a decision Mr Lukwago describes as irrational and unreasonable.
In his petition, Mr Lukwago seeks orders to quash Ms Kamya’s decision regarding the legality of Council meetings and other decisions like subjecting all his out of the country travels as the Lord Mayor to a "ministerial permit”.
He claims such decisions are an infringement and abuse of his rights and freedoms.
“Unless court intervenes and restrains Kamya from making such irrational decisions and passing-off as the Lord Mayor, the sovereignty of the people of Kampala will be put in jeopardy and hence forth affect the social contract I made with my voters in May 2016,” Mr Lukwago contends .
He further seeks court orders to compel Ms Kamya to put in place a Metropolitan Physical Planning Committee as required by the KCCA Act, arguing that the absence of the committee negatively impacts him in the performance of his execute duties of developing and strategising for the city.