Mabirizi sues Gen Muhoozi, Speaker Among over Bukedea rally

Mabirizi sues Gen Muhoozi, Speaker Among over Bukedea rally
Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Speaker Anita Among and her Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa in Bukedea

Bukedea, Uganda | URN | Controversial city lawyer Male Mabirizi has filed a case against first son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, speaker of parliament Annet Anita Among, and her Deputy, Thomas Tayebwa for organizing an alleged unlawful gathering in Teso.

Mabirizi filed the case at Kumi Chief Magistrate’s Court on Friday 18, August 2023. The file contains 21 other co-accused persons including the Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, State Minister for Education and Sports, Peter Ogwang, and Members of Parliament from within Teso and other parts of the country.

The case stems from the events on Monday 14, August 2023 where Gen. Muhoozi, Tayebwa, and a host of leaders invited by Speaker Among conducted public rallies that attracted hundreds of people in the Kachumbala and Kongunga sub-counties in Bukedea district. Mabirizi argues that the accused persons, under MK Movement/MK Army, organized, managed, and addressed a political gathering where political statements and activities were made and performed.

He accuses the group of managing an unlawful gathering contrary to Sections 56 and 57 of the Penal Code Act, conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to Sections 180 of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) Act, 2005, and Section 390 of the Penal Code Act. Moreover, Section 16 of the Political Organizations Act restricts members of the armed forces, public officers, religious and cultural leaders, and government-owned company employees from participating in partisan politics.

Lawyer Male Mabirizi addressing journalists
Lawyer Male Mabirizi addressing journalists

The other grounds are scandalous conduct by the officers, conducting prejudicial to good order and discipline, disobedience of statutory duty, common nuisance, and conspiracy to commit misdemeanors. Mabirizi also wants the court to issue criminal summons against the accused persons.

He said that the rallies disrupted business and the movement of people and their property when the roads were blocked in Bukedea, Kumi, and Soroti.

“I have attached an affidavit. First of all, that is evidence but in the criminal trial that’s when witnesses come. When the case is called for hearing that is when they call for witnesses and evidence. You wait for hearing, people will come…I don’t think there is any denial that Muhoozi is a serving military officer. I don’t think they can deny that they held that function. All we need are people who will come and this was a public function and say yes, I was there I witnessed it, the roads were blocked,” said Mabirizi.

Gen. Muhoozi, also the senior presidential advisor on special operations is still a serving army officer who has been moving around the country seeking to replace his father President Yoweri Museveni in the 2026 general elections.

His two-day tour to the Teso sub-region was characterized by heavy security deployment which limited the movements of the people to some areas, especially in Soroti city.

Earlier on Tuesday 15, Agust 2023, Mabirizi filed another case against Speaker Among in the Anti-Corruption court in Kampala over alleged money laundering. Mabirizi is questioning how Among acquired property worth billions of shillings within just seven years as a Member of Parliament for Bukedea district.

Mabirizi sues Gen Muhoozi, Speaker Among over Bukedea rally

Mabirizi also filed another case of common nuisance at the criminal division of the High court in Kampala against Gen. Muhoozi and seven others. Mabirizi’s court cases come just a few days after Kira MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda criticized Anita Among and Tayebwa for their alleged involvement in Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s nationwide tours, which have been deemed unlawful by a large section of political commentators.

Ssemujju pointed out that during a recent housewarming event organized by Among in Bukedea district, a political rally took place where the speaker was captured on video campaigning for Gen. Muhoozi. Ssemujju said parliament’s two top leaders shouldn’t be part of an illegality – more so when there is even a pending case in the East African Court of Justice (also filed by Mabirizi) over the same matter.

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However, Tayebwa dismissed Ssemujju’s concerns, saying that it was just a thanksgiving ceremony open to everyone including Muhoozi. He argued that there is no specific law prohibiting military officers from attending such events.

But Dr Sarah Bireete, the Executive Director of the Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG) accused the Speaker of violating the Constitution, particularly Article 79 (3), which assigns the speaker the responsibility of protecting the Constitution and defending democratic governance in Uganda.

“How can Speaker Among who is charged with the responsibility of protecting the Constitution and defending democratic governance in Uganda engage in campaigns of a serving military man in abuse of the law?,” wrote Bireete on X (formerly Twitter). 

Earlier in the year, Gen. Muhoozi addressed several political rallies disguised as birthday celebrations in various locations of the country. He promised improved funding and service delivery in areas such as infrastructure, sports, and the fight against corruption.