Kampala: Court summons RCC

The Buganda Road Magistrate Court has issued criminal summons against Deputy Kampala Resident City Commissioner (Deputy RCC)

to answer charges related to hiding a suspect who was wanted to answer charges related to shs4.2 bicycle scam.

Eng. Robert Kakiiza, the former Principal Civil Engineer in the Ministry of Works was among the group of six people who were interdicted by the then Local Government Permanent Secretary, John Kashaka Muhanguzi for their roles in the botched purchase of 70,000 bicycles for Local Council one chairpersons that caused government a financial loss of shs4.2 billion

However, following the indictment, Kakiiza baffled his prosecution after he declared himself dead for 9 years but was arrested last year by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit that is headed by Lt. Col Edith Nakalema after a tip-off from a whistleblower.

He was later arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Unit in Kololo and charged for abuse of office and corruption where he died the charges but released on bail by Justice Lawrence Gidudu.

On Friday, Buganda Road grade one magistrate, issued criminal summons against Hajjat Hawa Ntege, the deputy Kampala RCC for hiding and obstructing the arrest of Kakiiza by police.

“Whereas your attendance is necessary in court to answer charges of obstruction contrary to section 103( C) contrary to the Penal Code Act,” the criminal summons issued on Friday, February 14, read.

“You are commanded by the government of Uganda to appear in this court on February 27, 2020, at 9 am or soon thereafter as case can be heard.”

The case

According to court documents, on April, 25, 2019 at Embassy House building along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala the Deputy RCC stopped two police officers including Detective Assistant Inspector of Police, Godfrey Onume and Detective Sergeant Francis Tayebwa working with the State House Anti-Corruption Unit from arresting Kakiiza.

This was after a whistleblower had tipped off Lt.Col.Nakalema’s unit of Kakiiza’s presence and miraculous resurrection after nine years ‘death’.

“The disappearance of Eng. Kakiiza Robert created reason to believe the rumours that he had since died. This caused him being removed from the charge sheet because the Office of the DPP and other law enforcement agencies failed to trace him,” the court documents at Buganda road read.

“It took the intervention of State House Anti-Corruption Unit’s intelligence to monitor his movements and later got information that he was alive and in constant touch with Deputy RCC Hawa Ntege.”

According to court, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit head then contacted the Deputy RCC to surrender Kakiiza to answer reinstated charges against him but in vain.

“Hajjat Hawa told Lt. Col. Nakalema that Eng. Kakiiza had since left her place and would be back to her office on Monday 29th/04/2019 yet Kakiiza was still in her office. The CID officers rushed and found Eng. Kakiiza in company of the Deputy RCC .”

“She made attempts not to allow officers effect the arrest. The officers caused the arrest of the two; Hajjat Hawa and Eng. Kakiiza. They were detained at Kabalagala police station.”

Deputy RCC frustrates process

After the Deputy RCC’s arrest, investigations indicated that she had indeed hidden Kakiiza and a file was prepared to have her arraigned before the Buganda Road magistrate’s court to answer charges of obstruction but she frustrated them.

According to court documents, through her lawyers of Newmark Advocates, Hawa made an application before the magistrate’s court saying that she enjoys immunity since she is a representative of the president as deputy RCC and that preferring charges against her was in contravention of the constitution.

The lawyers requested to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court for interpretation but the head of the criminal division of the High Court, Justice Wilson Kwesiga set aside the decision to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court and issued fresh orders after a complaint.

“In view of the settled legal principles which bind this court, and all its subordinate courts, it was improper for the magistrate to refer the matter to the constitutional court,” Justice Kwesiga said in a revised order dated February 10, 2020.

This meant that the Buganda Road magistrates court was now free to formally charge the deputy RCC over obstruction of officers on duty and the same prompted the Friday criminal summons.

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