in his ruling, Justice Elubu has noted that although the case before the Constitutional Court was filed by different parties, it arises out of the same case and thus the need to halt the High Court proceedings since the constitution has supremacy over any law in the country.
The High Court has stayed the hearing of an application
challenging the process leading to the allocation of 10 billion Shillings to
Members of Parliament for Covid-19 activities.
On Tuesday, the head of Civil Division Justice Michael Elubu
stayed the application filed by Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga and
his Erute South Counterpart Jonathan Odur pending the determination of a
similar case that is before the Constitutional Court.
The petition that is pending before the Constitutional Court was filed by two
concerned citizens Prosper Busingye and Grace Tushemeriwe. They are seeking
a declaration that the process leading to the allocation of 10 billion shillings
to the MPs was illegal and in violation of the parliamentary rules of procedure
as well as the constitution.
However, in his ruling, Justice Elubu has noted that although the case before
the Constitutional Court was filed by different parties, it arises out of the
same case and thus the need to halt the High Court proceedings since the
constitution has supremacy over any law in the country.
He added that any question of interpretation of the same in regards to the
actions of Parliament would, therefore, take precedence in the said
Elubu explained that this is being done to avoid any inconsistencies in their
decisions as the outcome of the Constitutional Court has a direct bearing on
all the questions raised in the case of MPs Karuhanga and Odur.
“To avoid any inconsistency in decisions it would appear most
prudent to await the outcome of constitutional petition number 4 of 2020 before
determining the instant application”, said Elubu.
In April, Karuhanga and Odur dragged the Parliamentary Commission
and the Attorney General to the High Court challenging the procedure
leading to the allocation of 10 billion shillings meant for Covid-19
Through their lawyers of AF Mpanga and Company Advocates, the duo
told the court that parliament breached its rules of procedure when it smuggled
the money into the Budget Committee report without the
consent of MPs.
The Shillings 10 billion is part of the 304 billion Shillings supplementary budget approved by parliament on April 4th, 2020 for Covid19 activities.
Each MP received about 20 million Shillings before the High Court ordered them
to refund the money.
However, the two MPs argue that parliament deducted the Shillings
10 billion from the Health Ministry and Security budget to disburse it to the
MPs to conduct Covid19 sensitization activities using flawed procedures.
But before this matter could be determined, the Attorney General requested that it is stayed until the
determination of a similar matter before the Constitutional court, hence
today’s ruling that has been read by the Court Registrar Dr Alex Mushabe on
behalf of the Judge.