Court orders govt to give Lukwago his salary with 8% interest

Justice Bashaija of the Civil Division of the High Court head, issued the directive on Friday, saying there was no justifiable reason why the Government was not remitting salary to Lukwago.

“The conduct of the respondents in continuing to freeze Lukwago’s salary is improper and ultra vires,” he ruled.

The court also awarded Lukwago sh100m in damages, for inconveniences and mental anguish. The judge ruled that the damages would attract 8% interest per annum from the time of judgment until payment in full.

The judge also quashed the orders of Kampala minister Beti Kamya dated January 2, 2017, stopping KCCA from paying Lukwago until the courts decide whether he was lawfully removed from office on November 2013.

Bashaija observed that in 2013 when High Court ruled that Lukwago’s impeachment was invalid, meaning that the position of the Lord Mayor had never been vacant and Lukwago’s emoluments should have not been seized. He said the committee of Parliament also instructed the Government to remit Lukwago’s salary arrears but did not comply with it.

The judge said when Lukwago was re-elected on February 24, 2016, the Government through the Attorney General appealed the High Court orders, which re-instated Lukwago in office but the Court of Appeal dismissed it, saying it had been overtaken by events.

On May 15, 2013, a group of 17 councilors petitioned then Kampala minister Frank Tumwebaze, accusing Lukwago of incompetence, misconduct, and abuse of office.

On November 25, 2013, Lukwago was impeached. The prelude to Lukwago’s ouster was on November 14 when the tribunal report on his conduct, noted that he had a case to answer.

However, on March 28, 2014, Justice Lydia Mugambe of the High Court in Kampala, reinstated Lukwago back to the office, and blocked an attempt by the Electoral Commission to organize a by-election.

Subsequently, on March 31, 2014, the Attorney General petitioned the Court of Appeal, and Justice Steven Kavuma blocked Lukwago from accessing office. On April 4, 2014, Lukwago petitioned the Supreme Court, challenging Kavuma’s decision made as a single Justice of the court.

The Supreme Court referred Lukwago back to the Court of Appeal, explaining that the query on Kavuma’s decision as a single justice, should be tabled for review before a panel of Justices at the Appellate Court. On May 25, 2019, the Court of Appeal dismissed the government’s application seeking to challenge the reinstatement of Lukwago in office