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High court reinstates Dr Oledo as UMA president

Dr Samuel Oledo kneeling at Kololo earlier

Dr Samuel Oledo kneeling at Kololo earlier

Embattled Dr Samuel Oledo Odongo has obtained temporary relief after the High court blocked his suspension from the Uganda Medical Association (UMA).

Oledo rose to national prominence last month when he led a group of intern doctors to kneel and plead for President Yoweri Museveni to stand again for the presidency in 2026. Subsequently, an extraordinary assembly convened on December 6, suspended Oledo as UMA president, replacing him with his deputy Edith Nakku-Joloba.

UMA members accused Oledo of engaging in partisan politics in breach of their association constitution. Oledo who has since received support from Museveni himself and the ruling National Resistance Movement ran to court seeking declaratory orders and other judicial review orders to quash the decision of suspending him as the UMA president, saying the suspension is illegal, and procedurally improper, and against the rules of natural justice  Today, Thursday Justice Musa Ssekaana stopped UMA, its agents, or any other person from implementing the December 6 resolution. 

“A temporary injunction issues restraining the respondent, her agents or employees, and any other persons claiming under her from the implementation of resolutions dated 6th December 2022 and this court stays whatever was done on 18th December 2022 until the main cause is disposed of,” said Ssekaana.   

Oledo told court that there is an imminent threat that UMA will or has started implementing the resolutions by appointing an acting president to his detriment. He noted that the respondent’s resolutions were scheduled for implementation within 5 and 21 working days and if no injunction is granted, other actions will result in other negative resolutions.   

However, in his affidavit as the UMA secretary general, Dr Herbert Luswata noted that Uganda Medical Association is a nonexistent legal entity with no legal existence and capacity to be sued and as such, no legal action can be instituted or maintained. 

He also noted that on December 5, he received a request to call for an extraordinary general assembly by paid-up UMA complaining that Oledo led a group of unsuspecting medical students, pre-interns, and a few interns donning clinical coats to a national youth event at Kololo independence grounds, the majority of whom were not members of UMA.

The members also accused Oledo of mobilizing medical students through their umbrella body the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI) with promises of getting them refreshments and a photo opportunity with President Museveni and that he was fully aware of the request for an extraordinary general assembly where his alleged conduct would be discussed and rushed to prematurely file the application in an attempt to frustrate his censure motion.   

Dr Luswata noted that Oledo had notice of the extraordinary general assembly that was duly convened and passed resolutions removing him from office. 

“The application has been overtaken by events and there is no status quo to maintain,” he argued in his affidavit.

In his ruling, Ssekaana noted that the court didn’t find it fit and proper to determine the preliminary objectives raised by UMA’s counsel without sufficient evidence. He also dismissed claims that UMA is not a legal entity in Uganda. 

“I wish to take judicial notice of the fact that the respondent is indeed a registered entity with a certificate of registration under the laws of Uganda in the name of Uganda Medical Association Limited. I do not understand the basis of the respondent’s argument or contention that the respondent is a nonexistent legal entity with no legal existence or capacity to sue or be sued,” said Ssekaana.

He also noted that the applicant’s term of office as the duly elected president of UMA has been interrupted and this is a greater inconvenience caused to him if the temporary injunction is not issued he may lose an opportunity, which may have been filled by a third party since UMA has attempted to have him replaced.  

Comments

+8 #1 Lysol 2022-12-23 03:01
Oledo violated the Hippocratic Oath, regarding impropriety or corruption in the medical profession.

Even though the Oath has been interpreted differently over the years. Begging or even kneeling to the president to ask him to rule for life, because of the pay raise, is in itself corruption. In many developed countries, he would have been suspended from practicing medicine.
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0 #2 kabayekka 2022-12-23 07:51
This is the sort of African professionalism that has become very much entangled into the military politics of the whole continent of Africa.

One hopes that these life protecting medical professionals and the current political judiciary are ready and well prepared to work hardest when another civil war breaks out and people start to mime and kill themselves with AK47 in order to capture power.

Unfortunately it should be remembered by all the people that the NRM party Central Executive Committee declared a long time ago that (Akapapula obupapula tekajawo kufuga kwa NRM). The long and brutal history of Uganda is quite clear that consistent and self styled military dictatorships are regularly removed by violent armed rebellion and replaced again by the same!
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+5 #3 Lakwena 2022-12-23 08:27
Until the Dr Samuel Oledo Odongo of this country showed up as UMA president, I never thought medical doctors could kneel before and rally others to become political stooges of a self-confessed/evident criminal politician.

For 36 years and counting, Gen Tibuhaburwa has not only been causing grievous harm (violence) and deaths, but also dehumanizing widespread poverty due unemployment (87%), which has turned upside down the lives of millions of Ugandans including those Medics and Teachers.

In other words, in the social economic and political history of this country; there was no such a thing as the unemployed qualified Medics and Teachers until Gen Tibuhaburwa violently showed up on 26th Jan 1986.

And here we are, the born lucky/unlucky medical doctors like Oledo are cheering him up for all the 36 years of the wrongdoing and long-term harm to Ugandans.
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+5 #4 Ebmok 2022-12-23 09:07
Hahahaa c'mon Ugandan courts! No wonder Mabirizi keeps hampering you guys. Save the Medical ASSOCIATION from the dirty stuff and save yourselves from petty issues. We need you to speed up due justice for stalled cases rather than you fighting minute fires.

Now, mukulu Oledo your own colleagues, the professionals, have rejected your politicizing the association. You claim to be sooo good that the entire association has kicked out the brilliant lone star?

Man, you make yourself appear like a stooge; why attempt to cling on and use our courts to literally stamp yourself atop?

Look, if you're that material and they have made a mistake, they will be found out and perhaps you may bounce back. But it's clear at the moment you're fighting for prestige and access NOT for the interests of the ASSOCIATION. Very cheap!!
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+5 #5 Dave 2022-12-23 10:58
The court's decision implies that, if for example I formed an association with 100 friends to say, discuss how we can advance our careers, and 98 of us vote to remove the leader, Courts can unilaterally stop our activities by forcing on us a leader who we believe does not represent us anymore.

Not that we are expelling the leader from the association or benefiting from the fruits of the association that the rest of us enjoy.

Who would benefit from such a court's decision?
Justice Sekaana is a good judge who I think has made an error.
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+5 #6 Okello Peter 2022-12-23 13:55
Does Dr Oledo realise the contempt his selfishness and unprofessionalism have brought to the medical profession?
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+1 #7 Kalibbala 2022-12-27 00:15
These Oledos are Not even Professional Doctors!
They are The Biwempe Docs like The Pastors From Rwanda Preaching Wealth for 10% Of Ugandans Savings!

Driving SUV's and Housing in Mansions While The poor Night Prayer Stays Hungry!! Uganda of the Devil at the Tiller..
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