Lord Mayor Vs. KCCA Case: Let’s Understand Injunctions


information pills sickness geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Naturally events relating to removal of a political head of a capital city would result in debates and arguments on who is right or wrong. However a lot of wrong information and misconceptions has been shared in this debate.

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In the last week, two injunctions to stop KCCA Council actions were made, however politicians for political reasons took it upon them to interpret the court decisions including ignoring them, based on what they (the politicians) interpreted the injunctions or the processes to be. This could have been aimed at justifying their actions however wrong they could be. Unfortunately the general debate focused on the interpretations of views of politicians without understanding how the injunctions work.

The injunctions came from a court petition filed by the Lord Mayor who was challenging recommendations by the KCCA tribunal, that recommended among other things found that he was capable of incompetence and abuse of office.

The background to the tribunal is that sometime mid this year, some KCCA councillors petitioned the Minister in Charge of Kampala to have the Lord Mayor impeached. As required by law, the minister set up a tribunal which according to the KCCA Act is required to establish whether a prema facie case can be proved against the Lord Mayor and recommend action.

The tribunal found a prema facie case was proved against the lord mayor and recommended specific actions. The lord Mayor challenged the tribunal findings, and it is against this challenge that the two injunctions were issued.

The first misreporting on the issue were the big headlines screaming that tribunal had found the Lord Mayor “guilty”! The fact that the words “prema facie” case are used in the KCCA Act means the tribunal only needed to find a likelihood that the lord mayor is liable. In simple the tribunal need to (and actually did) find the Lord Mayor Culpable. This is less than a guilty verdict that most media interpreted it to be. The duty of finding him guilty (or not) lay with the Council.

An Interim Injunction was issued by the registrar requesting the Attorney General (AG) and the Minister for Kampala not to go ahead with the planned impeachment process of The Lord Mayor until court determines whether a temporary injunction can be issued until the case filled by the Lord Mayor is determined. There were several claims as to the authenticity of the injunction, service of the court papers, time and place of issue and its effects generally.

Interim injunctions

Basically interim injunctions are issued when there is a danger of irreparable or permanent damage to the subject matter and the court wants to reserve the subject matter until it reaches an interim decision. In simple an interim injunction is issued as a matter of urgency and there is no time for technicalities.

It is normally issued exparte (without hearing the other party) and the party that was not heard is required to attend court on a specified time so that he/she can be heard in determining a temporary injunction and or any other orders. The effect of an interim injunction is to (very) temporarily suspend the activity until court listens to the other party.

Take an example where a building is a subject of a court dispute, and one of the parties has hired a tractor to raze down the house. The other party may seek an immediate court order requiring the second party to suspend razing down the building until court hears the matter.

In such a situation there is no time for court to hear the views of the other party because of the urgency of the matter and court will order that party, it’s agent or any person to halt razing the house till another order is made.

The person who is given this order can serve (give) the order to the one claiming the house and the operator of the tractor who is expected to follow the order. The operator of the tractor cannot refuse merely because he/she is not a party to the suit. This is because the operator of the tractor is treated as an agent of the defendant in the suit.

In the Lukwago/KCCA case, the minister became an agent of the AG by the fact that he was the one in charge of government business at that material time.

Since an interim injunction is issued as a matter of urgency, a judicial officer can issue it from anywhere at any time. In fact technicalities such as service, delivery of documents e.t.c. are not considered. These are considered when handling a temporary injunction where all parties to the suit are required to give their views.

After damage to the subject matter is prevented, the parties to the suit will then go to court to determine the matter. At this stage court can issue a temporary injunction (please note the difference), whose effect is to stay any further action until the matter is heard.

This kind of injunction is what court in the Lukwago/KCCA case issued later to stay any further action till Lukwago’s claims are disposed of. In simple, the injunction issued at about 8:00am on Monday was provisional aimed at maintaining the status quo until the AG & KCCA is heard on the matter


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