The criminal prosecution of the Inspector General of police, Kale Kayihura before Makindye Chief Magistrates Court has been halted.
This follows the issuing of interim orders by Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma on Friday evening stopping the same until the main petition pending before the Constitutional Court is heard and determined. In the main petition a concerned lawyer Robert Rutaro is challenging the constitutionality of Kayihura’s prosecution before Makindye court.
During the same court session, Justice Kavuma also stopped the prosecution of six other senior Police officers who were being prosecuted alongside their boss.
They include; Andrew Kaggwa (ex Kampala South Regional commander), James Ruhweza (ex Head of Operations, Kampala Metropolitan), Samuel Bamuziibire, (ex Kampala Metropolitan Field Force Unit commander), Patrick Muhumuza, ( ex commander in operations, field force unit, Kampala Metropolitan South), Wesley Nganizi, (ex Regional police commander, Kampala North), Geoffrey Kaheebwa (ex Deputy Regional Police Commander, Kampala South) and Moses Nanoka (ex Wandegeya Division police commander).
“An interim order has hereby been issued staying all the criminal proceedings at Chief Magistrate Court at Makindye against the Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura until the hearing and final disposal of the main petition now pending before this court..” ruled Justice Kavuma.
Further in his orders, Justice Kavuma ordered the Registrar of the Court, Deo Ninzeimana to quickly fix the main petition and have the main petition heard and disposed off expeditiously.
Prior to the issuing of the interim order by the deputy chief justice, counsel David Oundo Wandera, who represented the petitioner, argued that should Makindye Court convene on Monday next week and hear Kayihura’s case, his client’s case would be rendered useless.
In response to the interim order application, the director of civil litigation, Mr Denis Bireije who represented the Attorney General, did not oppose to the grant of the interim order but on condition that the main petition is quickly fixed and expeditiously disposed off.
At the time of filing the story, counsel Wandera and his client were extracting the interim order to serve upon Makindye Chief Magistrates Court and the office of the DPP on Monday morning when the matter was to resume.
The petitioner in his main petition now pending before the constitutional court for determination, contends that by charging the named senior police officers with the offense of torture without specifying the alleged acts of torture contravenes the right to a fair hearing and is inconsistent with articles 28 (1), (3) (c), 44 c, 20 1 and 2 of the constitution. He also contends that the acts of Makindye Chief Magistrates Court in charging the aforementioned senior officers with torture arising from the execution of their duties contravenes articles 212, 213 and 2 (1) of the constitution.
Rutaro also states that the act of charging the named officers except Gen Kayihura before the Police Tribunal as well as the Makindye court with different charges based on the same facts amounts to double jeopardy and is unconstitutional.
The first time that the Gen Kayihura case was called before Makindye Court on August 10 at the time when the matter was being prosecuted several pro-Kayihura supporters carried pla-cards and demonstrated at court in a bid to frustrate the proceedings, saying the police boss is innocent.