High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe Ssali made the ruling this afternoon, after Kasango's widow Nice Bitarabeho filed the case seeking permission to bury her husband in Kabarole district, after contention with family members who wanted to bury him in Tororo.
"It is easy to discern in the circumstances of this case, that while the deceased can safely be buried in Tororo or Fort Portal, the deceased's children have almost only their mother to look up to for their welfare. They have not bonded with the Tororo relatives," Judge Lydia Mugambe ruled.
"As a nucleus family they are uncomfortable with the burial of the deceased in Tororo where they've never been. However, they're comfortable and at peace with the burial on their family land in Fort Portal which they know as intended to be their family burial grounds."
Kasango died last month. Court however has agreed with him in a petition he filed in 2016 against the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) who was prosecuting cases against him.
Justice Mugambe concluded that "it is also in the best interest of the children that the deceased is buried as soon as possible to avert the psychological torture they continue to suffer from the prevailing impasse."
The applicant, Bitarabeho, was represented by Mujurizi Jamiru and Tumwesigye Hamphrey of M/s. Mujurizi, Alinaitwe & Byamukama Advocates and the Respondent represented by Odokel Opolot Deogratius and James Njogu of M/s. Odokel Opolot & Co. Advocates.
Kasango succumbed to heart-related complications while serving a 16-year jail term for theft of more than Shs15 billion meant for pensioners.
The constitutional court recently also made a ruling on a case he had filed, questioning the legality of the DPP who was prosecuting the case against him. He argued it was unconstitutional for a serving judge to be DPP, and the court last week agreed with him.
Details of Mugambe ruling
In her ruling on March 26 Judge Mugambe explained her decision in detail. She said court had found out that the deceased's wife and children have never been to Tororo; were taught or told nothing about Tororo or Japadhola culture by the deceased; merely knew or interacted with the Tororo relatives of the deceased at his behest.
"On the other hand, they have severally visited Fort Portal as their village; spent time there with the deceased; are aware that the deceased desired that Fort Portal be their country home and burial place and there is no dispute regarding the ownership of the Fort Portal land by the deceased and his family and its one-acre size is sufficient for burial grounds and a country home which were the deceased's plans for and with his family."
On the issue of who the deceased's biological father is, court heard that his dad was a one Kasimo who was a musoga.
"Then there is no justification for Respondent to impose the Japadhola culture on the deceased or his family. The deceased's mother's love for the Japadhola culture is indisputable; it is the culture she's grown up in and practiced even though she has Busoga ancestry. However, this too does not justify her desire to impose it on the deceased especially when I consider the nature of relationship between her and the deceased in his life," the judge concluded.
Court set 6 conditions
1- To bury body in Fort Portal
2- This has to be done in 4 days from the day of ruling
3- To allow the family of Bob's mother to bury
4- Police and LC system take charge
5- Each side takes care of their legal costs
6- Kasango be given a decent burial