KAMPALA – Civil Division High Court Judge, Michael Elubu has declined to reverse his earlier order to legislators to return Shillings 10 billion they received for Covid-19 activities to public coffers. According to Justice Elubu, the law doesn’t permit him to reopen a matter he heard and issued final orders.
His ruling stemmed from an application filed on Monday by the Parliamentary Legal team led by Sitinah Cherotich arguing that the order extracted on April 29th, 2020 contained errors since it didn’t reflect the exact wording from the court proceedings.
The team had argued that the order signed by Justice Michael Elubu had to be drafted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga on April 23rd, 2020 in connection to the Shillings 20 million issued to each legislator for Covid-19 activities.
Kadaga had directed that the legislators to spend the money on Covid-19 related activities under the watch of district taskforces and provided accountability to the Clerk to Parliament but copy in Chief Administrative Officers in their respective districts.
Cherotich argued that it was wrong for court to concur with Karuhanga’s proposal to channel the money to public accounts like Parliamentary Commission, National or District Task Forces. She also noted that the court extract also failed to capture the fact that Karuhanga had withdrawn the application which prompted them to return to court for correction of the said errors.
However, Karuhanga’s lawyer David Mpanga told court that they were only going to withdraw the matter on condition that Parliament agrees that the money is deposited on the said three public accounts. He allayed the fears of the legislators and declared the application withdrawn and promised to give them directions on how to proceed in the main case.