KAMPALA – High Court judge Andrew Bashaijja has given former KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula a go-ahead to attach the salary of the Lord Mayor in a bid to recover UGX47m being costs of the 2011 case she won against him.
This comes after the court dismissed an application filed by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago seeking to block Ms. Musisi from recovering the said money.
Mr. Lukwago’s application had sought to reinstate his appeal challenging the UGX47m that was awarded to Musisi which was earlier dismissed by Justice Stephen Musota for failure to pursue it and for being an abuse of the court process.
Mr. Lukwago had claimed that the costs had arisen from a case which was dismissed under unclear circumstances and in a non-existing law.
In his ruling Justice Bashaijja said the position of the law is that if no step is taken to prosecute a case, the High Court can own its own motion and without notice to the parties dismiss it adding that that is exactly what Justice Musota did.
“The High Court is enjoined to exercise its mandate using its inherent powers to inter alia, prevent abuse of the process of the court by curtailing delays including the power to limit and stay delayed prosecutions as may be necessary for achieving the ends of Justice,” Justice Bashaijja ruled.
“The ruling was well within the judge’s power to make and cannot be said to be illegality thus this application has no merit,” he added.
Justice Bashaijja also ordered Mr. Lukwago to pay cost of this application to Ms Musisi.
According to Musisi’s lawyer Denis Sembuya, the decision to dismiss Lukwago’s application paves way for attachment of his salary to clear his client’s UGX47m.
Justice Bashaijja’s ruling comes at a time when Ms Musisi has applied to Court to issue an order attaching the salary of the Lord Mayor in a bid to recover her UGX47m award.
Ms. Musisi says she has been forced to seek court’s intervention after Mr. Lukwago refused to pay the said money.
On September 23, 2011, Mr. Lukwago sued Ms. Musisi for passing herself off as the head of the Kampala Capital City Authority and portraying the office of the Lord Mayor as ceremonial.
In July 2012, then High Court judge Elidard Mwangushya dismissed Mr. Lukwago’s case against Ms Musisi and ordered him to pay her costs incurred in pursuing the case.
While dismissing the case, Justice Mwangushya, noted that Mr. Lukwago should have sought alternative remedies within the authority before suing Ms. Musisi.
Musisi then filed a bill of costs that was taxed at UGX47.5m, which money she says Lukwago has refused to pay despite repeated demands and reminders.