NGOs Apply To Join Journalists' Oil Case

2244 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Through their lawyer, James Nagwala, the NGOs asked presiding Judge Faith Mwondha to allow them make a presentation in the pending appeal by to journalists, Charles Mwanguhya and Angelo Izama. The two are challenging the decision by Nakawa Magistrates Court that denied them a right to access the oil agreements signed between Uganda and multi-national oil exploration companies.

Four Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have applied to Nakawa High Court to permit them give information regarding the sustainable utilization of natural resources entrusted to the government.

The organizations include Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), Navigators of Development Association, World Voices Uganda and Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development.

Through their lawyer, James Nagwala, the NGOs asked presiding Judge Faith Mwondha to allow them make a presentation in the pending appeal by to journalists, Charles Mwanguhya and Angelo Izama. The two are challenging the decision by Nakawa Magistrates Court that denied them a right to access the oil agreements signed between Uganda and multi-national oil exploration companies.

The NGOs argue that by the nature of their operations, they have a vast knowledge of oil and gas exploration depending on the principle of transparency. They add that they are interested in adequate disclosure of information and projects taken by government on behalf of its citizens.

They further contend that the subject matter of the journalists’ appeal isn’t merely an enforcement of a private right rather a public and fundamental freedom provided for under the constitution.

But the Attorney General’s representative George Kalemeera asked court to disallow this application saying the NGOs do not qualify to be admitted on the appeal because court has not yet heard the appeal for them to presume that it is about to make a mistake.

Justice Mwondha said she will deliver her ruling on the March 28th.