KAMPALA – The writer and producer of the song Another Rap, Mr. Richard Kaweesa has dragged President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to the Constitutional Court challenging him over the immunity he enjoys as the Head of State for Uganda.
In a petition before the Constitutional Court in which President Museveni is the respondent, Mr. Kaweesa says the former being the president should be scrapped of his immunity to allow for him be sued in his private and personal capacity.
“In any case the presidential immunity is not absolute because a president can be a proper and necessary party to legal proceedings in the Supreme Court challenging presidential elections under article 104 of the Constitution where he is sued for his personal actions during elections,” Mr. Kaweesa says in his petition.
The singer says since the president can be a complainant and witness in a criminal case, presidential immunity can therefore be removed during proceedings for removal of the president from office before a tribunal or medial board sanctioned under article 107 of the Constitution.
“Therefore, not all acts of the president are official presidential actions which must be protected by presidential immunity.”
According to Articles 98 and 99(1)) (4) of the Uganda Constitution, “The President may be taken to court after his or her term of office for anything done in his or her personal capacity.
Under this provision, a serving president is insulated from both civil and criminal proceedings, but he or she can be prosecuted for his or her actions after their presidency ends.
Mr. Kaweesa last year wrote to President Museveni seeking five billion shillings in compensation for copyright after using the said song in the 2011 presidential campaigns.
The songwriter in an October 30, 2018 demand notice said he wrote and produced the song which later became popular as Museveni campaigned for votes and eventually won the 2011 polls partly riding on the song.
“This song also became a popular ringtone which obtained on all mobile telecommunication platforms and enhanced the top of the mind awareness of your brand to the Ugandan populace while making billions of shillings in royalty fees in the process,” said part of Mr. Kaweesa’s demand notice through Muwema and Company Advocates also copied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau.
In response, President Museveni dismissed the claims saying he commissioned the making of the song, which makes him the ultimate owner.
Through lawyers, KTA advocates, the president says the song is registered under UG/C/2010/25 in his own names making him the legal copyright holder.
In his latest petition to the Constitutional Court, the singer wants court to issue an order restraining Mr. Museveni from asserting claims to presidential immunity for his personal and private deeds or acts.
“The petitioner seeks for an order directing the Court to investigate and determine the appropriate civil redress in respect to alleged copyright infringement in the Another Rap song case,” the petition reads in part.