KAMPALA. Court of Appeal on Tuesday dismissed an application by State Minister for Local Government, Ms Jennifer Namuyangu, which had sought to halt the High Court order for her to pay her political opponent costs of the 2011 election case.
Ms Namuyangu lost a 2011 election petition against Mr Saleh Kamba and Electoral Commission over Kibuku County parliamentary seat. She had petitioned court challenging Mr Kamba’s parliamentary election, claiming it was marred by electoral malpractices.
Records indicate that Ms Namuyangu won in the High Court but the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment and ordered her to pay her rival’s legal costs incurred in both courts.
In 2014 the High Court in Mbale ordered police to arrest Ms Namuyangu for failing to pay Shs41.8m cost that arose from the 2011 petition she lost against the Electoral Commission and Mr Kamba. She appealed against the amount of the costs, saying they were unreasonably high.
However, when her application for review of the costs came up for hearing in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, the three justices of the court led by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny- Dollo dismissed it because neither the minster nor her lawyers Byamugisha, Lubega and Ochieng Advocates appeared.
Other justices were: Kenneth Kakuru and Christopher Madrama.
According to Mr Kamba’s Lawyer Mr Chrysostom Katumba, the minister filed an election petition in Mbale High Court challenging Kamba’s victory for Kibuku County parliamentary seat in 2011. She won the petition but Mr Kamba appealed to the Court of Appeal and won and was awarded costs both in the appellate and lower court.
“I have since filed a bill of costs of Shs 200m against the Minister but she had blocked it until today,” Mr Katumba told court.
The judges advised Mr Katumba to file a fresh bill of costs against Ms Namuyangu and the final figure will be determined by the Court of Appeal.
Ms Namuyangu was State Minister for Water and Environment at the time of the election petition.