Twinobusingye fights for his Shs 13bn court award

A week after Justice Kenneth Kakuru of the Court of Appeal slashed lawyer Severino Twinobusingye’s Shs 13bn court award to a paltry Shs 21m, the lawyer has filed an appeal challenging Kakuru’s decision.

Through Mugisha and Company Advocates, Twinobusingye on May 4 wrote to the registrar of the Court of Appeal, expressing dissatisfaction over Justice Kakuru’s ruling that is likely to see him lose his cash windfall.

In 2012, the constitutional court registrar Erias Kisawuzi awarded Twinobusingye Shs13bn as costs in his suit challenging a Parliamentary resolution that had compelled three senior ministers; Sam Kutesa (Foreign Affairs) former Premier Amama Mbabazi who was Security minister at the time, and then Energy and Mineral Development Hilary Onek to vacate their positions to allow for an investigation into their alleged receipt of bribes in oil deals.

Twinobusingye successfully challenged the Parliamentary resolution and filed a bill of costs worth Shs 23bn but the then registrar of the Court of Appeal Elias Kisawuzi slashed it to Shs 13bn.

The controversial award attracted a public outrage that the then Attorney General Peter Nyombi applied for a review of the court award.

Twinobusingye tried to block the review but lost his case in November 2014 when Justice Augustine Nshimye allowed the Attorney General to file his appeal out of time since the case involved huge sums of money payable from the taxpayers.

It was after this review process that Justice Kakuru reduced the court award to Shs 21m saying that he didn’t see what the petitioner would have done to be awarded that huge amount.

In a petition filed jointly by John Mary Mugisha of M/s Mugisha and Company Advocates, and Chris Bakiza of Bakiza & Co Advocates, Twinobusingye wants his appeal to be heard before three Justices who they believed will determine this matter honourably.

“Being dissatisfied with the ruling of the single justice, Kenneth Kakuru, we do hereby formally apply for a reference against the said decision to three justices of this honorable court to determine the matter,” Twinobusingye’s application partly reads.

Twinobusingye also applied for the certified copies of the Court proceedings and ruling in the case to enable them file their grounds and record of reference.

In defending the huge court awards, Twinobusingye’s lawyers argued that the case involved conducting both physical and electronic research at a national and international jurisprudence level.