KAMPALA – The High Court Judge Dr Andrew Bashaija on November 26 dismissed with costs an application in which the State Minister for Housing, Dr Chris Baryomunsi had sought for permission to be allowed to appeal against an order in which he was found in contempt of court orders.
In 2017, the High Court ordered Dr Baryomunsi, Godfrey Tumwebaze Karabenda and a local radio, Kanungu FM to pay Shs50 million to businessman James Musinguzi Garuga and Kinkiizi Development Company Limited for contempt of court.
However through his lawyers Mr Francis Turyamuhebwa, the state minister had filed an application for leave of court to appeal against the decision of the High Court.
Mr Turyamuhebwa had noted that for the issue of contempt of court both parties had agreed that there should a stay on condition that the earlier payment order is effected.
Garuga’s lawyers objected to the application saying that the minister swore an affidavit in support of the application on behalf of his co-accused parties devoid of any express written authority from them making it null and void.
According to the court record, on November 27, 2016, Dr Baryomunsi and Karabenda were hosted on Kanungu FM in which they discussed of a case that was already in court where Garuga and Kinkizi Development Company had sued him and New Vision for defamation.
Court heard that the talk show took place notwithstanding an interim order issued by court to reinstruct Dr Baryomunsi, his servants and or agents from publishing further libel against Garuga and Kinkizi Development Company or make further slanderous, malicious statements or any further defamatory publication.
However Justice Dr Bashaija ruled that when a party found in contempt of court are barred from being heard ever in such an application or any other matter until such person has purged himself of the contempt.
The judge also noted that the application is in respect of an order for stay of execution which does not in any way indicate that by providing a land title a security by the applicants in itself meant there were purging themselves of the contempt of the court.
“It was in fact the respondents who moved court to force the applicants comply. That means the applicants (Dr Dr Baryomunsi and 2 others) are still in contempt of court which bars them from being heard ever in this application or any other related matter,” Justice Bashaija ruled.