The Chief Magistrate of Entebbe, Juliet Nakitende, has dismissed lawyer lawyer Male Mabirizi's application for the cancellation of Pastor Aloysius Bujjingo's bail.
Bujjingo, the Lead Pastor at House of Prayer Ministries, is accused of committing bigamy and contracting marriage with Suzan Makula Nantaba, breaching sections of the Marriage Act and the Penal Code Act.
On January 21, Bujjingo and Makula denied the charges and thereafter applied for bail. Grade One Magistrate Stella Paculal Okwong granted them bail.
However, on January 24, lawyer Male Mabirizi asked Entebbe Magistrate Juliet Nakitende to review Paculal's decision and thereafter cancel Bujjingo's bail. Mabirizi said Section 221 of the Magistrate's Courts Act provides for a "chief Magistrate to call for and examine the record of any proceedings before a Magistrate's Court for the purpose of satisfying himself or herself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any finding decision or order recorded or passed and as to the regularity of any proceedings."
In her letter to Mabirizi dated January 25, Nakitende has rejected his request for canceling Bujjingo's bail.
She explains that the proceedings of January 21 and "the decision made thereafter were not irregular or illegal and thus does not warrant the Chief Magistrate to invoke its supervisory powers under Section 221 of the Magistrates Courts Act. "Therefore the request to cancel bail granted to pastor Bujjingo is not granted," Nakitende adde
Mabirizi says he will not give up and will pursue the issue at the High Court.
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Mabirizi had urged Nakitende to review and examine Okwong's decision to grant Bujjingo bail without first disposing of his application challenging the move by the Director of Public Prosecutions-DPP to take over the case file and his other application asking the court to order Bujjingo to pay a security bond of shillings 2 billion and also stop making threats of death and violence against him as a private prosecutor and witnesses.
Okwong fixed the hearing for the second application on February 28.
She however dismissed both applications on January 21, saying the 1995 Uganda Constitution empowers the DPP to take over any case file initiated by individuals or any other authorities and that she was granting Bujjingo and Susan Makula Nantaba bail because they had presented substantial sureties. The DPP, represented by State Attorney Timothy Amerit, also did not oppose their bail application.
Bujjingo and Naluswa got married on December 20, 2003. But the state says that before the dissolution of their marriage, Bujjingo allegedly married Makula under customary law on December 7,2021 in Kawuku, Katabi Town Council in Wakiso district.
Meanwhile, Makula is accused of contracting a marriage with Bujjingo well aware that he is legally married to another woman.
The matter was first brought to court by lawyers Male Mabirizi and Robert Rutaro Muhairwe last month. Mabirizi and Rutaro instituted private prosecution proceedings against Bujjingo and Makula after their alleged traditional marriage.
However, the DPP took over the case in mid-January amidst resistance from Mabirizi.