By Spy Uganda
The High Court of Uganda Criminal Division learned registrar, His Worship Festo Nsenga on 29th of August, 2023 delivered a ruling on the case filed by controversial lawyer Male Mabirizi against Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba accusing him of addressing political gatherings despite being a serving army officer.
Before delivering a ruling on the above matter, His Worship consolidated the applications filed by General’s counsel as stated below;
1. Whether the matter is amenable to revision?
2. Whether application for the transfer and takeover of City Hall Court file No. 4530 of 2022 by the Buganda Road Court was lawful?
3. Whether the Private Prosecutor could properly file an amended charge sheet in a matter taken over by the DPP?
Although the court faulted the procedure of revision adopted by the DPP while filing her application to strike out the amended charge sheet filed by Male Mabirizi, the judge, nonetheless dealt with the merits of the applications.
After the above, the Court went on to determine the legality of the transfer and take-over of the case by Buganda Road Court and found that the Chief Magistrate of Buganda Road Court legitimately exercised his statutory mandate when he sanctioned the transfer of the case file from City Hall Court to Buganda Road Court.
Court in determining whether Male Mabirizi properly filed an amended charge sheet found that this was an illegality because Male Mabirizi had no locus standi to file the said charge sheet after the DPP had taken over the matter and that the same could not be sanctioned by Court.
Accordingly, Court ordered that the said charge sheet be struck off the court record and that criminal case No. 4530 of 2022 proceed with only the 1st accused who is in this case Gen Muhoozi.
According to Gen Muhoozi’s lawyer Fred Mukasa Mbidde, the above ruling means Mabirizi has lost in both applications and the ruling is in favour of Gen Muhoozi.
”Today’s ruling means; our application for transfer of the file from City Hall Court to Buganda Road court was declared lawful and the amended charge sheet filed by Male Mabirizi increasing the number of accused to 8 has been struck off the record of court,” says Mbidde.
”After the takeover the DPP became the only proper party in the matter and assumed prosecution control. At that stage, the private prosecutor ceased to be a party and ceded all prosecution decisions to the DPP. He would at best be referred to as a complainant. If indeed he had any information he deemed relevant for the proper management of the case, then he was obliged to furnish such information to the DPP,” reads part of the ruling, ”In sum, the private prosecutor could not file an amended charge sheet as he did not have the locus standi to do so. The 8th Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary defines Locus standi as the right to bring an action or to be heard.”
He adds that as a result of the above, ”the other accused, namely, Mawandaa Micheal Maragnge, Andrew Mujuni Mwenda, Barugahare Balaam Ateenyi, Kabanda David, Nuwagira Micheal Kaguta aka Toyota, Lilian Aber and Katungi Micheal have no case pending against them as accused persons in this matter.”
He also says the file is now ready for withdrawal of charges against his client under the DPP terminates or abandons the proceedings against an accused.f851223e-309b-4686-8075-01424e421fe0