By Najibu Mulema
The Judiciary has come out to sideline with Parliament against Deputy Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma’s interim order prohibiting Parliament from probing the shs6 billion Presidential handshake which saw 42 senior government officials rewarding themselves with the money in question after URA’s court settlement win against a British Oil firm, Tullow oil.
On Monday, the constitutional Court issued an interim order prohibiting Parliament, any person or any other authority from investigating, questioning or inquiring into the impugned bonus payments until the main application No. 06 of 2017 is determined.
According to a press release dated 11 January, 2017, application No. 7 of 2017 was on the 9 January, 2017 heard inter party by Deputy Chief Justice sitting as a single judge, which is permitted by the rules. Mr. Alex Chandia appeared for the applicant and Mr. Geoffrey Madette, represented the Attorney General.
“The court granted the orders sought , and directed the Registrar to ensure that all pre-trial steps are taken in good time and the hearing of the main application No. 6 of 2017 and the constitutional petition is fixed without delay in the next convenient court session,” statement partly reads.
The Chief Registrar for judiciary, Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa says Judiciary has noted that parliament is aggrieved by the decision of the constitutional court and has in that respect directed the Attorney General to take immediate steps to have the order set aside by the constitutional court.
“ The action taken by Parliament is commendable and is in accordance with the rule of law because the law allows any aggrieved party to appeal or challenge the decision of the court,” Wolimbwa noted.
He urged the Attorney General to appeal against the decision of the court by the way of reference to the panel of three justices of the constitutional court, and if still dissatisfied, he can appeal to the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga suspended parliamentary seats until Justice Kavuma vacate what she called ‘the stupid order’ prohibiting the national Assembly from probing into the oil cash bonanza.