Persis Namuganza, the State Minister for Urban Planning
High Court in Kampala has dismissed an application filed by the State Minister for Urban Planning, Persis Namuganza seeking to quash the report of the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on the Naguru Nakawa land misallocation that recommended her removal from office.
The records before Court shows that the disputed Ad-hoc Committee report was presented before Parliament which approved it’s recommendations in accordance with the law on 18th May 2022.
The Ad-hoc committee found Namuganza guilty of overstepping her powers in directing the give away of the Naguru land by Uganda Land Commission to different individuals and companies which was done without following the PPDA Act.
The report further faulted Namuganza for acting on a non-existent presidential directive.
However being dissatisfied with the report and its recommendations, the Minister dragged the Attorney General to the High Court seeking to have it quashed on the ground that she was condemned unheard. She also asked Court to compel the attorney general to pay 1billion shillings to her as damages.
At the trial, the Minister through her lawyers Pande Norman, Norman Mwanja and Kayiwa Wilber told Court that she was condemned unheard and declared to have abused her office on a report which was biased, inconsistent and lacked proper assessment.
According to lawyers, when their client Namuganza appeared before the Committee, she presented a letter that she had written to the chairperson Uganda Land Commission requesting for consideration of some companies but it was not a directive. But to her surprise the said letter was not attached to the report.
Court heard that the Ad-hoc committee report which was tabled before Parliament for consideration did not contain the purported letter and minutes that Namuganza based on to directed Uganda Land Commission to allocate land to different individuals and companies which would have guided them in their debate as to either to adopt or disregard it.
In response, the Attorney General through Commissioner George Kallemera asked Court to dismiss Namuganza’s case saying she cannot challenge a recommendation of Parliament pending debate and consideration by the Executive to assess whether or not to implement it.
In his decision on Tuesday, Justice Musa Ssekaana said Namuganza’s application fails because she did not set out any evidence to prove that she was not given a fair hearing by the Ad-hoc committee apart from merely alleging.
“The applicant did not set out any evidence to prove that she was not given a fair hearing apart from merely alleging every limb of what amounts to a fair hearing and contending in submissions that they were not observed…this ground has not been proved by the Applicant, the Applicant has failed to prove this ground,” said Ssekaana.
He accordingly dismissed her application and ordered each party to bear it’s own costs.