BY Hajji Ntale Younus
The High Court in Kampala has trashed the case filed by city lawyer Male Mabirizi in which he challenges the compulsory registration of all tenants on the kingdom’s mailo land commonly known as the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s Land.
Mabirizi sued the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi challenging the decision to have all his subjects living on the kingdom land register their plots at a fee.
This development comes at a time when the Court of Appeal overturned an order by High Court’s Justice Patricia Basaza to Kabaka in which it demanded the Kabaka to present all particulars in regarding the kingdom’s accounts.
The accounts in question are in Stanbic bank(Forest Mall Branch)and Bank of Africa (Main Branch) in the names of Buganda Land Board and the kingdom’s mailo land returned by the central government.
According to the trial Judge, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo noted that the case had been declared a nullity by the Court of Appeal which ruled that Mabiririzi wrongly filed the case when he purportedly represented tenants on the land without their consent.
Adonyo who was expected to rule on an application for stay of proceedings pending determination of an appeal before the Supreme Court instead threw out both the main case and the application.
The judge noted that a panel of three judges of the court of appeal had declared the controversial suit in which Mabirizi challenges the compulsory registration of the tenants occupying the Buganda Kingdom Land hence the same was not tenable at a lower court adding that it was only prudent to throw it out.
The panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal including Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Fredrick Egonda Ntende and Hellen Obura ruled that the orders to Kabaka were done erroneously by the High Court.
The judges ruled that since the matter does not qualify as a public law action, it cannot be maintained and therefore the application for disclosure and inspection cannot be necessary.
In his suit, Mabirizi had contended that he represents himself and the people from Buganda living on the official mailo land which the justices dismissed saying there is no proof to show that Mabirizi was acting on behalf of people from Buganda.
The dismissal of Mabirizi’s suit has been described as the judge overstepped his powers according to Mabirizi adding that the Supreme Court is yet to determine the appeal before it.