Court Orders Govt, KCCA To Pay Lukwago Shs600m In Accumulated Salaries, Damages

Court Orders Govt, KCCA To Pay Lukwago Shs600m In Accumulated Salaries, Damages

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By Hanning Mbabazi

Kampala: Uganda High Court presided over by judge Andrew Bashaijja has ordered the minister in-charge of Kampala city Betty Kamya, KCCA and the Attorney General to pay over 600 million shillings to the Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago being his accumulated salary emoluments and damages for wrongfully withholding it since 2013.

The accumulated compensation is meant to cover the period between December 2013 and May 2016 which KCCA had refused to remit to Lukwago under the pretext that during that period, he was out of office having been impeached by Councillors.

In his ruling Justice Bashaijja noted that the impeachment was invalidated by several court orders issued between December 2013 to January 2014 and therefore Lukwago was acknowledged to be rightfully occupying office for the contentious 30 months.
“Taking all factors of this case into account particularly the long period of time the applicant has been denied of a livelihood by the respondents and the frustrations he met each time he tried to enforce his right, court considers that UGX 100million is fair and adequate in the circumstances,” he ruled.

Apart from his salary arrears of 563.4 million shillings, justice Bashaijja has further added Lukwago another 100 million shillings being damages for the gross inconvenience, psychological torture, denial of livelihood, mental anguish and for frustrations he has suffered for long time whenever he tried to enforce his rights.
“It is awarded as general damages to the applicant and shall attract interest at the rate of 8% per annum from the date of this ruling until payment in full,” he ruled

Last year Lukwago sued the Attorney General, KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi , the Kampala Minister and the Authority itself for orders that court compels them to pay his salary arrears as the continued refusal to pay it without any justifiable reason is unlawful but the Attoney General and KCCA appeal.

However the Court of Appeal dismissed with costs a six-year application that had been filed by the Attorney General and Kampala City Council Authority seeking permission in the appeal against a High court order that re-instated Erias Lukwago back to the office as Lord Mayor of Kampala in 2014. Mr Lukwago is entitled to over UGX500 million arising from the dispute.

Justices; Stephen Musota , Kenneth Kakuru and Christopher Madrama unanimously resolved that the Attorney General and KCCA deserved no leave to appeal, saying the application had been overtaken by events and the would be filed appeal will serve no purpose in law, “simply because the Lord Mayor’s term of office that they want to challenge expired in 2016” and he(Lukwago) has since been re-elected for another term of office ending in 2021.

The dismissed application arose from a 2014 ruling of High court judge Lydia Mugambe which re-instated Erias Lukwago back to the office of the Lord Mayor having realised that the KCCA councillors erroneously voted to remove him from office in November 2013.

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