By Sania Mabirizi
City lawyer Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka has instituted private criminal proceedings against four former minister including Matia Kasaija,Edward Katumba Wamala, Abubakar Jeje Odongo and Benny Namugwanya Bugembe and wants court to issue an arrest warrant against them.
Mabirizi is accusing the former Ministers of personation after they allegedly continued to carry out government duties as official ministers despite their terms in their respective offices including that of Minister of Finance, Internal affairs, works and Transport and Minister For Kampala having expired on the 12th of May 2021.
In his letter addressed to Chief Magistrate Buganda Road Court dated 17th May 2021, Mabirizi, is accusing the former government officials of continuing to impersonate themselves as ministers and wants court institute criminal proceedings against them.
In his affidavit to support his private prosecutions against the four, Mabirizi claims that on the 12th of May 2021, the five year term of of Cabinet expired, and accordingly, all minister’s offices became vacant, but in the 14th of May 2021, Gen.Katumba Wamala held press conference at the Uganda Media Centre in an official capacity as minister for works.
He also accuses Kasaija of speaking to the press on the same day at the same government media center as minister for Finance, while, on the 15th of May, Jeje Odongo allegedly personated the minister of Internal affairs and officiated at the taking of office of the new Executive Director, National Identification and Registration Authority.
Mabirizi further alleges that on the 14th of May 2021, Namugwanya had a press conference and personated the Kampala minister ,where she gave updates on the swearing in of new Kampala Capital City Authority elected leaders.
Mabirizi claims that as a civically active Ugandan who has been closely following the Constitutional, Hunan Rights and Rule of Law trends in Uganda, he knows that the above actions by the said former ministers constitute offences of impersonation, contrary to section 38(1) of the Penal Code Act, for which the accused should be charged and tried.
He adds that the said alleged offences were committed in Kampala Capital City Authority in Central Divison, within the criminal Geographical jurisdiction of the Court.
However, it remains to be seen if state will allow him to privately prosecute the said Government officials since it keeps on taking over all his privately instituted criminal proceedings including that of Ministee Kutesa in which he allowed a family to fly back into the country during the Lock down among others.
Other privately instituted criminal cases by Mabirizi that have been taken over by state include that against Chief Justice Alifonse Owinyi Dollo for allegedly bullying a fellow supreme Court judge Esther Kisakye in the concluded Presidential election petition filed by National Unity Platform Party President Robert Kyagulanyi and his case against Kyagulanyi over his academic transcripts.
However, after state taking over the said cases, many do not get to be prosecuted but state just loses interest in prosecuting them.