Court orders government to pay UGX12M compensation after losing case

By Sania Babirye

The Kampala high court has ordered government to pay a one Gabula Africa Evans Ronald 12 million shillings at a 10% interest rate per annum and costs to the suit in compensation after ruling that he was unlawfully arrested and tortured by security operatives for one month while being coerced to confess to dealing with Ugandan based Australian cardiologist Dr.Agrey Kiyingi.

Justice Patricia Basaza Waswa has ruled that Gabula was indeed unlawfully arrested, detained and tortured which infringed on his fundamental rights and freedoms to protection from deprivation of liberty, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Gabula dragged government to the high court accusing officers of the Special Operations Unit (SOU) under the Police Force of unlawfully arresting and torturing him under the commandant of Nixon Asingwire and Samuel Okello in 2014 which was an infringement of his fundamental rights and freedoms.

Justice Basaza ruled that indeed the government did admit to the said allegations since government never denied his torture claims either
by way of a written statement or defense.

She further ruled that Gabula’s torture evidence presented before court which was never challenged by the attorney general but supported by the medical report from the African Center for treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and an account given by an eye witness -bystander proved that the actions of the Police officers named, were actions done by a Special Unit of the Police Force, done during working hours, on consecutive days.

Justice Basaza in conclusion ruled that although done in unauthorized place and manner, the Police Officers were acting in the course of their duty for which the Attorney General, representing the State, is vicariously liable and ordered government to pay the said compensation at a 10% interest rate per annum from the time of the judgement

In his defense, Gabula told court that after being arrested on the 26th of December 2014, at 10am, at Game, Lugogo Mall by plain clothed security operatives sent by a one Nixon Asingwire, he was whisked away to (SOU) head offices at Clement hill n the boot of a car, handcuffed and face covered were he was slapped, kicked beaten until he lost consciousness as police officers advised him to confess to dealings with a one Dr. Kiyingi which he declined to do, on the basis that he did not know the person.

He further revealed that during the course of his illegal detention from December 22, 2014 to January
21, 2015, he was subjected to other forms of torture including tying his hands, his legs, his mouth being cut off
(sic) with a scissors and disfigured, beaten with belts, whipped by three men which forced him to bled from the mouth, elbows and legs and being poured on cold water for dozing .

The officers also Placed a hot nosal of the pistol on the wound of his mouth, gave him a piece of posho and water that tasted like alcohol with severe pain in his teeth and was later taken tov Kireka to the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and later to Mbuya barracks.

Former URC workers compensated to a tune of UGX 2.6 B

By Sania Babirye
The court of appeal has awarded a UGX2.6 billion compensation to Former employees of the Uganda Railways corporation(URC) after they were unlawfully terminated from their job between 1986 and 2004.

In a case that has taken 14 years to be finalized, the 5104 claimants who were working in different capacities as civil Engineers, traffic staff , managers and accountants have been each awarded with 500, 000 shillings at a 17% interest rate from June 2004 till time full payment.

Three court of appeal justices led by the Deputy Cheif Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo have delivered their ruling which partially benefited the corporation and the claimants who were awarded 2/3 of the costs of this appeal .

The justices have however declined to grant the claimant’s plea to have their their terminal benefits given to them under the pension’s Act.

The justices have explained that this can only happen if the claimants who are now frail and some old were public servants which was not the case.

The former servants had wanted their terminal benefits to given to them under the pension act because it would have put them on the same level and rate of payment as other public officers.

However, bylaw the claimants are paid their benefits under the corporation Act.

The court has also set aside other orders by the High court including paying the claimants bonus arrears for staff at Nalukolongo, refund on payments of house rent and other unapproved dues .

The compensation comes at a time when some of the claimants have lost their lives and will not enjoy the compensation awarded to them .

In may 2006, High court judge Okumu Wengi ordered government to compensate the 5104 pensioners for their termination.

In 2005, URC terminated the claimants services after it privatised cooperation which later sparked off protests by the aggrieved affected employees.

These demanded that they be paid their terminal benefits and pensions immediately .

Hospital pays 10 million compensation for nurse’s negligence

BY SANIA BABIRYE

A private City hospital has agreed to pay Ten million shillings in compensation to a 2 year old boy who was pricked with a same cannular that had pricked the nurse’s hand, well knowing that she was HIV positive.

Victoria Medical Center along Lumumba Avenue in Kampala has entered a consent judgement signed with Ruth Mushabe, a mother to the victim who sued the hospital along with its nurse Rosemary Namubiru for compensation.

The hospital has on Monday however agreed to amicably settle the nearly five year old dispute by way of compensating the complainant on grounds that it doesn’t condone professional negligence .

In 2014, Rosemary Namubiru, a nurse attached to Victoria Medical Centre was arrested, prosecuted and convicted of criminal negligence when she used an intravenous needle on the child after pricking herself with it.

Namubiru was however released in November 2014 after she successfully appealed against the excessive 3 year jail term before High court judge Rugardya Atwooki.

Both parties appeared before justice Henerietta Wolayo and agreed the mode of payment. According to the agreement the hospital will be paying compensation money in installments of one million shillings per month starting on 10th February.