KAMPALA – The High Court has thrown out a suit in which local artiste Richard Kaweesa was asking for compensation from President Museveni over the latter’s use of ‘Another Rap’ song .
Mr Kaweesa, through Muwema & Co. Advocates, filed a civil suit in the High Court for damages for what he termed as infringement on his musical works, as author, producer and owner of the song.
But in a ruling dated June 25, Justice Richard Wabwire said that the Constitution gives the immunity from prosecution.
“Article 98 takes away the jurisdiction of this court over the person of the President and secondly, it bestows upon that person absolute and unqualified immunity while he is in office,” Justice Wabwire noted.
He added that Kaweesa can wait until the President is out of office.
Through his lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates, the singer was seeking for a court declaration that he is the author, producer and owner of the ‘Another rap song’ and that Museveni’s use and registration of copyright in the musical works without his knowledge, consent and compensation is an infringement on his right.
However, in the alternative, Kaweesa wanted court to order the president pay him adequate remuneration for his musical works contending that the song was a hit on airwaves, internet and dance halls to which Museveni claims popularity both locally and on the international scene.
Kaweesa further contends that several negotiations with the president to have the matter settled amicably with a whopping of Shs 5.5 billion compensation claim to him proved futile hence seeking court’s redress.
In the plaint, Kaweesa also mentions that as a president, Museveni lost his immunity not to be sued as a sitting president when the Head of state individually subjected himself to acquire copyright on a song which does not belong to him.