Kumi Chief Magistrate’s court has set next month October 16 as the date for the ruling of an application filed by city lawyer, Male Mabirizi challenging the attempted takeover of his criminal case against first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, speaker of parliament Anita Annet Among, and her deputy Thomas Tayebwa.
The trio was sued alongside 21 others for allegedly staging an unlawful movement and assembly dubbed MK Movement in Teso. Mabirizi filed the case on August 18, 2023, by way of a private prosecution against the group including ministers and MPs.
The case follows Muhoozi's tour in the Teso subregion, which attracted hundreds of people from Bukedea, Kumi, and Soroti districts.
Mabirizi argues that the accused persons, under an unlawful society, MK Movement/MK Army, organized, managed, and addressed a political gathering where political statements and activities were made and performed, contrary to the legal provisions of Uganda.
But soon after lodging the case, the Kumi state attorney, Christine Kalya Byamugisha, notified the court that the director of public prosecution (DPP) intended to take over the case. This didn’t go down well with Mabirizi who decided to petition the court.
Accordingly, Kumi chief magistrate, Hope Namisi set September 27, 2023, for the hearing of the application challenging the attempted case takeover. During the court session on Wednesday, Mabirizi said that the state attorney doesn’t have the capacity to take over the case before the criminal summons upon which the court shall make a ruling on confirmation of the charges filed against the accused are issued.
Mabirizi argued that the state attorney only takes over proceedings of private prosecution after the magistrate has drawn up and signed formal charges containing a statement of the offense or offenses alleged to have been committed by the accused.
Byamugisha pleaded with court to grant her more time to enable her to make written submissions before the ruling is made. She explained to the court that she couldn’t make oral submissions because of some office engagements that couldn’t allow her adequate time to prepare for oral submissions by the set date.
Magistrate, Namisi gave the state attorney up to October 4 to make written submissions before the matter is heard on October 16, 2023. Although Mabirizi served all the defendants with notices of motion of the case, neither the respondents nor their representatives appeared before the court on Wednesday.