The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Lukwago Lawyer Complains

Talks between government and the opposition aimed at ending the impasse at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) collapsed last week, as the opposition accused government of lack of sincerity.

Leader of Opposition Nathan Nandala-Mafabi led the opposition negotiating team that also had DP Secretary General Mathias Nsubuga, Shadow Attorney General Abdul Katuntu, Shadow minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Medard Lubega Sseggona and Peter Walubiri, one of the lawyers representing Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.

The government side had Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Attorney General Peter Nyombi, KCCA lawyer Kiwanuka Kiryowa, among

others. The talks were a last-ditch effort to resolve the standoff at KCCA after councillors controversially impeached Lukwago, only for court to declare the process flawed.

"We proceeded with negotiations in the sincere hope that the government side was as committed as ourselves to dialogue as a means of resolving conflict and allowing normalcy to reign again as opposed to impunity and asserting the rule of might," Mafabi told Parliament, presided over by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.

"We have endured the pain and agony of being called names; the people of Kampala who elected their leader maintained patience in the hope that the negotiations were genuine," he said.

But Mbabazi insisted that NRM was determined to continue with the talks, first proposed by MP Mathias Nsubuga. Lukwago had been expected in court on Friday, to defend his petition challenging his impeachment. But the case did not take off, reportedly because the attorney general was not ready.

Lukwago wants the tribunal report that found him guilty of incompetence, misconduct and abuse of office set aside.

Quick return:

Asked earlier, whether court process would not hurt the planned talks, Lukwago had argued that he didn't think the talks, led by Premier Amama Mbabazi, would take place soon.

"My main interest is to see how we implement the temporary court order so that I re-enter my office and the rest of things would come later; but now that the case has been scheduled, let's battle it out with the attorney general," Lukwago said.

Meanwhile, one of Lukwago's lawyers, Abdullah Kiwanuka, has accused senior police officers James Ruhweza, Kaheeru, Mugume Okello, Ocunu and Aciru and a State House staff Emmanuel Peace Opolo of battering him on November 25 when he went to City hall to serve minister Tumwebaze with a court order, stopping the KCCA proceedings.

He argues in his formal complaint statement that after serving Councillor Allan Sewanyana with a copy of the court order, Kaheeru and Mugume ordered other police officers to batter him, eventually tearing his clothes.

Kiwanuka adds that Ruhweza ignored the lawyer's pleas for help.

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