Breaking

Kabale Municipality Fined UGX 150M For Contempt of Court

Top story
In their miscellaneous application number (NO.0075/2019 and No. 0024/2018) before Kabale High court, the traders accused Kabale Municipality of defying the extension of the interim court order restraining it and its agents from evicting and demolishing the market until February 11, 2020, when the main application will be heard.
05 Dec 2019 17:59
Demolished Kabale central market

Audio 6

Kabale Municipality has lost a contempt of court case and has been ordered to pay fine of Shillings 150 million. It follows a suit filed by traders and lockup owners under Kabale Central Market Traders Association (KCTA) led by their chairperson, Simon Mashemererwa in August 2019 accusing the municipality for demolishing Kabale Central Market in disregard of a court order.

The municipality demolished the market on August 24, 2019 to pave way for the planned reconstruction of the market under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program - MATIP III.  The municipality ordered the traders to Kabale Police playground in Kigongi along Kabale-Mbarara Highway and Mwanjari cemetery in Southern Division along Kabale-Kisoro road.    

In their miscellaneous application number (NO.0075/2019 and No. 0024/2018) before Kabale High court, the traders accused Kabale Municipality of defying the extension of the interim court order restraining it and its agents from evicting and demolishing the market until February 11, 2020, when the main application will be heard.   

The main application had been filed by Kabale Central Market Traders Association in April 2019 seeking an interim injunction halting the registration exercise by the municipality ahead of the planned market construction. The traders argued that the registration was being carried out without the involvement of their leadership, lack of the necessary information regarding the exercise, market designs for scrutiny and Memorandum of Understanding.  

Despite the extension of the interim injunction, Kabale municipal authorities led by Joseph Bagonza Monday, Kabale Municipality town clerk and Mayor, Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha demolished the market. The authorities sold bricks, iron bars and some of the iron sheets that were removed from the demolished lockups and kept in the municipal yard.

In his ruling delivered on Thursday afternoon in Kabale High Court, Justice Moses Kawumi Kazibwe, found the municipal authorities guilty of disobeying a lawful court order. He said the authorities used force and instructed law enforcement officers to pluck off iron sheets from lockups despite protests by the applicants.    

Kazibwe also ordered Kabale Municipality to pay Shillings 100 million to Kabale Central Market Traders Association as general damages as well as other costs of the suit. Kawumi also ordered Kabale municipality to pay more than Shillings 50 million as a sanction for contemptuous conduct.       

He however, lifted the temporary injunction and allowed Kabale Municipality authorities to start constructing the market as the hearing of the main application continues. Kawumi also ordered that Byamugisha and Monday be arrested and be committed to civil prison for contempt of court. 

Speaking to our reporter shortly after the ruling, Simon Mashemererwa, the Chairperson Kabale Central Market Traders Association expressed joy, saying court has considered the outcry of the traders.  

//Cue in: “Let me take…   

Cue out: …in future.”//     

Rukiga    

//Cue in: “Mbweenu ruling egyi…   

Cue out: …okubitaho bwanyima.”//   

Richard Muhanguzi, the councilor representing Kirigime ward welcomed the judgment, saying the Municipal authorities acted defiantly instead of following the law. Muhanguzi said the market was demolished without a council resolution.  

He however, said the punishment will indirectly affect tax payers, adding that the municipality is likely to lose more cases resulting from Byamugisha and Monday’s defiance.     

//Cue in: “It will teach…   

Cue out: …pass it.”//   

Rukiga

//Cue in: “ kutwabeire turi aho… 

Cue out: …omu mateeka.”//      

The Kabale Town Clerk, Joseph Bagonza Monday declined to comment on the matter.     

Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha, Kabale Municipal Mayor, said they are still analyzing the judgment to see if they can appeal. Byamugisha argues that the market was demolished by traders themselves but not authorities.  

 

//Cue in: “ I have been… 

Cue out:…to do.”// 

  

Rukiga

//Cue in: “ i have been…      

Cue out:  to do.”// 

Images 1