Court Reinstates Dr. Oledo As UMA President

Dr. Samuel Oledo Odongo has obtained temporary relief from the High Court stopping his suspension as the Uganda Medical Association-UMA president until the determination of his application challenging his suspension. 

This follows a ruling by Justice Musa Ssekaana stopping UMA, its agents, or any other person from implementing the resolution from its extraordinary assembly convened on December 6, 2022.  

“A temporary injunction issues restraining the respondent, her agents or employees, and any other persons claiming under her from the implementation of resolutions dated 6th December 2022 and this court stays whatever was done on 18th December 2022 until the main cause is disposed of,” said Justice Ssekaana in his ruling delivered Thursday Morning.   

The ruling stems from an application by Oledo for a temporary injunction restraining UMA, its agents, or any other person from implementing the December 6, 2022 resolution suspending him from the leadership of the association. Oledo sought declaratory orders and other judicial review orders to quash the decision of suspending him as the UMA president.   

It came after the UMA through its acting President Edith Nakku Joloba and Secretary General Dr. Herbert Luswata issued a communication of the resolutions made in the UMA National Executive Committee-NEC consultative meeting with the NGC and Elder’s Forum held on Dec 6, 2022. Oledo challenged the resolutions for being illegal, procedurally improper, and against the rules of natural justice.     

He told that court that there is an imminent threat that UMA will or has started implementing the resolutions by appointing an Acting President to his detriment. He noted that the respondent’s resolutions were scheduled for implementation within 5 and 21 working days and if no injunction is granted, other actions will result in other negative resolutions.   

However, in his affidavit as the UMA Secretary General, Dr. Herbert Luswata noted that Uganda Medical Association is a nonexistent legal entity with no legal existence and capacity to be sued and as such, no legal action can be instituted or maintained. 

He also noted that on December 5th, 2022, he received a request to call for an extraordinary general assembly by paid-up UMA complaining that Oledo led a group of unsuspecting medical students, pre-interns, and a few interns donning clinical coats to a national youth event at Kololo independence grounds, the majority of whom were not members of UMA.

The members also accused Oledo of mobilizing medical students through their umbrella body the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI) with promises of getting them refreshments and a photo opportunity with President Yoweri Museveni and that he was fully aware of the request for an extraordinary general assembly where his alleged conduct would be discussed and rushed to prematurely file the application in an attempt to frustrate his censure motion.   

Dr. Luswata noted that Oledo had notice of the extraordinary general assembly that was duly convened on 28th December 2022 that passed resolutions removing him from the office of President Uganda Medical Association and duly confirming Dr. Edith Nakku Joloba as the President with immediate effect. 

“The application has been overtaken by events and there is no status quo to maintain,” he argued in his affidavit. In his ruling, Justice Ssekaana noted that the court didn’t find it fit and proper to determine the preliminary objectives raised by UMA’s counsel without sufficient evidence. He also dismissed claims that UMA is not a legal entity in Uganda. 

“I wish to take judicial notice of the fact that the respondent is indeed a registered entity with a certificate of registration under the laws of Uganda in the name of Uganda Medical Association Limited. I do not understand the basis of the respondent’s argument or contention that the respondent is a nonexistent legal entity with no legal existence or capacity to sue or be sued,” ruled Justice Ssekaana.

He also noted that the applicant’s term of office as the duly elected president of UMA has been interrupted and this is a greater inconvenience caused to him if the temporary injunction is not issued he may lose an opportunity, which may have been filled by a third party since UMA has attempted to have him replaced. 

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