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High Court Dismisses Mabirizi's Case Against Kabaka :: Uganda Radionetwork

High Court Dismisses Mabirizi's Case Against Kabaka

On Wednesday afternoon, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo dismissed the entire case that hadnt fully been heard, saying that it had no merit since the same had been declared wrongly filed by the Court of Appeal.
Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi

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High Court has dismissed a case filed by Male Mabirizi challenging the compulsory registration of the tenants on Buganda Kingdom Land. Mabirizi ran to High Court on August 9th, 2016 to challenge the decision by the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to charge settlers on kingdom land between Shillings 100,000 and 600,000 as compulsory registration fees.

In his application, Mabirizi asked court to declare the decision of the Kabaka as illegal, saying he is only a trustee of the Kingdom and not the owner.

During the early stages of hearing, Mabirizi sought court orders compelling the Kabaka to provide statements in the names of Buganda Land Board at Bank of Africa main branch and Stanbic bank (Forest Mall) branch, saying he needs them for inspection and internalization to enable him present his case with facts. 

High court Judge Patricia Basaza Wasswa granted Mabirizi's prayers in her ruling delivered in 2017. She also ordered the Kabaka to produce the details of the Mailo land that was returned by government specifying the name of each county, block and plot numbers. 

Court also directed the Kabaka to provide particulars of all people occupying kingdom land as well as the amount each of them has paid since 1993. 

However, Kabaka's lawyers led by Christopher Bwanika challenged the orders in the Court of Appeal. They argued that there was no proof that Mabirizi was representing all occupants of Mailo land. 

They also argued that they needed to protect the dignity of the kingdom by granting privacy to the Kabaka like any other person or organization. On October, 1st 2018, a panel of three justice of the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court orders.

Justices Hellen Obura, Egonda Ntende and Ezekiel Muhanguzi overturned the orders, saying Mabirizi hadn't proved to court that indeed he was representing many others who had reportedly been affected by Kabaka's orders. The Judges ruled in favor of the Kabaka, saying Mabirizi's case had no merit 

Following the ruling, High Court started hearing Mabirizi's main application that had stalled because of the Kabaka's appeal.

The case was expected to resume on October 22nd, 2018 before Justice Henry Peter Adonyo with the cross examination of Male Kiwalabye, the Executive Director of Buganda Land Board, his Deputy Bashir Kizito  and  Peter Mulira who swore an affidavit, saying Kabaka's actions were lawful.

However, Mabirizi filed an application to stay proceedings arguing that he had gone to the Supreme Court to Challenge the decision by the Court of Appeal.

In his appeal before the Supreme Court, Mabirizi said the decision of the Court of Appeal was unlawful since only one issue was brought to them for determination but the judges ended up determining other issues that were never before them.

On Wednesday afternoon, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo dismissed the entire case that hadn't fully been heard, saying that it had no merit since the same had been declared wrongly filed by the Court of Appeal.

Adonyo said that he had read the judgment by Justice Egonda Ntende and found that indeed Mabirizi's matter had no merit. He therefore dismissed the application and awarded the Kabaka the cost of the suit.

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Speaking to our reporter after the court verdict, Mabirizi said the judge overstepped his powers when he decided to dismiss the matter without hearing it fully.

The Kabaka's lawyer led by the Attorney General of Buganda, David Mpanga welcomed the court decision, saying they can now relax since they have spent a lot of time working on the case. 

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