The judiciary has in unprecedented shift of events lauded Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga’s stance of directing the deputy Attorney General (AG) Mwesigwa Rukutana to move to court and vacate an injunction barring legislators from probing into shs 6b oil payment.
On Monday, the Deputy Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma issued an interim order blocking Parliament or any government authority intending to question, investigate or inquire into the payments received by URA Commissioner General, lawyers and high ranking government officials as a ‘handshake’ after participating in litigation process against Heritage Oil in London.
Kavuma’s injunction came after information leaked that lawmakers intended to move a motion to have the beneficiaries grilled and subsequently compelled to refund the colossal sums of cash received.
This caused panic among recipients and on Monday, the ‘handshake’ initiator Doris Akol was seen in corridors of Parliament seeking to meet Kadaga.
While presiding over yesterday’s sitting, Kadaga irritably labelled the order as ‘stupid’ and adjourned the House until Court makes its pronouncement.
She wondered that Parliament was facing an unprecedented situation where the doctrine of powers is being tested” and that the court order intended to “gag this house” from doing its work.
Today morning Judiciary’s Chief Registrar, Paul Gadenya in a statement said, “The Judiciary has noted that Parliament is aggrieved by the decision of the Constitutional Court and has in that respect directed the Attorney General to take immediate steps to have the order set aside by the Constitutional Court.”
“The action taken by Parliament is commendable and is in accordance with the rule of law because the law allows any aggrieved party to appeal or challenge the decision of a court,” Gadenya’s statement further reads.
Gadenya agrees that it is early to quash the order, “In this case, the Attorney General is at liberty to appeal against the decision of the court by way of reference to a panel of three justices of the Constitutional Court, and if still dissatisfied, can appeal to the Supreme Court,”
He further expressed the judiciary’s commitment to “reassure the public that the dispute will be handled in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of Uganda.”