Court Fixes Date to Hear Common Nuisance Case Against Muhoozi

The City Hall Magistrate’s court has scheduled the hearing of Male Mabirizi’s case against the Presidential advisor for Special Duties and First Son General Muhoozi Kainerugaba for disobedience of statutory duty and common nuisance.

The city hall principal grade one Magistrate Jane Tibagonzeka, has fixed July 17th, 2023 for the hearing.

Mabirizi initiated the suit in November 2022 alleging that Kainerugaba addressed a political gathering at Kololo Independence Grounds in Central Division, Kampala City, on October 11th, 2022, without resigning from the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).

According to Mabirizi, this act contravenes section 99 of the UPDF Act, which prohibits serving military personnel from engaging in political activities. Mabirizi further argues that Kainerugaba’s actions caused common annoyance and inconvenience to the public, thereby violating their rights.

Mabirizi told URN that during the hearing he will ask the court issue criminal summons against Kainerugaba, such that he is charged formally.

If found guilty of the charges, Kainerugaba could face up to two years of imprisonment according to the Penal Code Act of Uganda. The act specifies that willfully disobeying written laws, which concern the public or any part thereof, constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment unless otherwise stated. It is important to note that Mabirizi has filed other cases against Muhoozi.

In May 2023, Mabirizi petitioned the East African Court of Justice seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Kainerugaba, as a serving officer in the UPDF, from organizing and addressing political rallies and gatherings.

Mabirizi also wants an order to prohibit various individuals, including the Speaker of Parliament, Members of Parliament, Ministers, Police and Military commanders, Resident District Commissioners, and government officials, from participating in any activities related to Kainerugaba’s political endeavors while he is still a serving military officer.

Mabirizi’s contention is that Kainerugaba’s involvement in politics violates Section 99 of the UPDF Act 2005, which prohibits military personnel from engaging in political activities. Mabirizi claims that Kainerugaba has repeatedly violated this provision by holding rallies in Entebbe, Mubende-Kasambya, and Kabale within the sixty days prior to May 2023. The events referred to by Mabirizi took place in Lira on March 28th, 2023, Entebbe on March 26th, 2023, Kasambya-Mubende on April 19th, 2023, and Kabale on April 19th, 2023.

Mabirizi alleges that Kainerugaba made political promises regarding infrastructure, sports, and fighting corruption during these events. Mabirizi considers these actions unlawful, as they infringe upon the fundamental and operational principles of the East African Community, such as good governance, adherence to democratic principles, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, and universally accepted human rights standards.

Other individuals have also challenged Muhoozi’s actions. Human Rights Lawyer Gawaya Tegule filed a lawsuit on May 7th, 2022, against the Attorney General and Muhoozi in his individual capacity.

The lawsuit seeks an order restraining Muhoozi Kainerugaba, a serving army officer, from engaging in political activities. Additionally, Tegule wants Muhoozi prosecuted for treason based on political pronouncements made on his Twitter handle, alleging that they are aimed at unlawfully assuming power as a successor to his father, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

The case is pending a hearing in the Constitutional Court. The lawsuit was filed during a period when Muhoozi and his supporters held various birthday celebrations across the country.

Evidence presented before the court indicates that Muhoozi’s actions are inconsistent with Article 208(2) of the constitution, which mandates the Uganda People’s Defense Forces to be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive, and subordinate to civilian authority as established by the constitution.

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