CITY LAWYER Male Mabirizi who took the Kabaka of Buganda to court alleging that the latter has no mandate to manage Kingdom land, has begged the Supreme Court not to condemn him to costs in case they rule that his case incompetent.
Mabirizi may be forced to pay costs of over UGX 30bn if he loses in the Supreme court. Justice Esther Kisaakye said she will deliver her ruling on notice.
Mabirizi, who went to the Supreme court after losing in the High court, said that since his suit is as a result of Article 50 of the Constitution, the court should have mercy on him and not ask him to pay costs like both the High court and the Court of Appeal ruled.
Article 50 talks about ‘Enforcement of rights and freedoms by courts’.
He made these pleadings on February 12, 2020 before Supreme Court Judge Esther Kisaakye on an application where Mabirizi wants court to halt the ongoing Busuulu collection exercise by Buganda Land Board.
Mabirizi says BLB should not conduct any business until his main suit against the Kabaka’s mandate to manage kingdom land is disposed of.
However, Mabirizi struggled to explain himself in front of Justice Kisaakye as she constantly wondered why she should put a halt to Kabaka’s activities despite being the registered proprietor of the said land.
Mabirizi reasoned that although the Kabaka is the registered proprietor, he is not the registered owner.
According to Mabirizi, a registered owner is different from a proprietor, although a quick dictionary search shows minimal difference.
Owek. Christopher Bwanika, who is Buganda’s Attorney General and Kabaka’s lawyer in this case, asked the court to dismiss Mabirizi’s application for it seeks to alter the status quo where Kabaka is lawfully collecting dues from tenants on kingdom land, yet temporary injunctions are meant to preserve the status quo.
Owek.Bwanika also argued that Mabirizi came to the wrong court, since the Supreme court is only supposed to hear cases from the Court of Appeal yet Mabirizi had not gone through the Court of Appeal after losing in the High court.