State Asks Court To Dismiss Prof. Bukenya's Application To Block CHOGM Trial

2335 Views Kampala, Uganda
The Inspector General of Government has asked the constitutional court to dismiss Professor Gilbert Bukenya’s application to block his trial at the anti corruption court.
 
Prof. Bukenya argues that his actions during the purchase of the 2007 Chogm vehicles were done on behalf of the President. The former vice president says his trial contravenes the Constitution, because the Office of the Vice President derives its mandate from that of the President.
 
Bukenya notes that since he had been assigned by the president to oversee preparations for the summit, it follows that he is protected from prosecution for actions done in an official capacity under Article 98(5) of the Constitution.
 
However, in an interim hearing this morning before the Deputy Chief Justice Alice Mpagi Bahegeine, the principal state attorney, Henry Oluka told court that Bukenya is not immune to prosecution. He adds that there are no chances of the petition succeeding and there is no case for the state to answer.
 
Prof. Bukenya says he will suffer irreparable injury if he is not granted immunity and the pending constitutional petition will be rendered null and void yet he has very high chances of succeeding.
 
Oluka adds that in Bukenya’s affidavit, he does not indicate the illegality of the actions of the Inspector General of Government and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
 
The state also argues that there is nothing in Prof. Bukenya’s affidavit, which he has put forward before court that warrants an injunction to stop criminal proceedings before the Anti corruption court.
 
Oluka states that in the balance of convenience, it’s a fact that no case has been disclosed by the applicant, no irreparable damage has been spelt out and therefore court should not grant Bukenya an injunction as sought.
 
He also notes that Bukenya’s affidavit is challenging the constitutional mandate of the IGG and DPP to prosecute him, which is granted by the citizens of the country instead of challenging the acts of Parliament or the law.

However, Prof. Bukenya’s lawyer, MacDusman Kabega told court that they are not challenging the DPP or IGG’s powers to prosecute him, but he wants his grievances to be addressed.

This involves the criminal proceedings against him for acts done in an official capacity during the time he served as a Vice President, which contravenes the constitution.
 
In his application, Prof. Bukenya states that decisions that came out of the sub-committee meetings on Chogm that he chaired on President Museveni’s directives were taken collectively. As such, the ex-VP says his instructions, were decisions of the cabinet and not those of an individual for which he is now being charged.
 
Article 98(5) of the Constitution gives immunity to the President while still in office.
 
Prof. Bukenya is facing two charges of abuse of office and fraudulent practice, preferred on June 16 by the IGG, in relation to the procurement of executive cars for the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala.
 
Justice Baheigeine has set the ruling on notice.