The High Court of Uganda sitting in Kampala has ordered security forces to vacate Kyagulanyi Sentamu’s residence in Magere after ruling that the blockade on the former presidential candidate’s movement was illegal .
After the hotly contested January 14 general election Police and other security forces had set up camp at Kyagulanyi’s home effectively putting him under house arrest .
In their petition to court National Unity Platform lawyers led by Medard Sseggona argued that it was illegal for security to confine Kyagulanyi in an ungazetted place indefinitely and without any justification under the law.
In his ruling High Court judge, Michael Elubu h said that the continued confinement of Kyagulanyi and his wife, Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi is a violation of their rights and should be allowed free movement.
“The continued indefinite restriction and confinement of the applicant (Kyagulanyi) in his home is unlawful and in the result his personal liberty has been infringed,” the Elubu ruled.
The state had argued that the confinement was meant to stop Kyagulanyi from inciting violence following the outcome of the elections but also to prevent him from breaking the law by organizing processions amid the deadly Covid -19 pandemic .
However, justice Elubu noted that there was no evidence to prove the allegations labeled by the respondents and that if Kyagulanyi flouts the law he should be produced in courts and charged accordingly .“These are all serious allegations of grave offences and it would be proper to follow the due process of the law in regards all the allegations made against the applicant. The due process has been defined as conducting criminal proceedings against the applicant.”
“The restrictions put on the applicant are unlawful and order that they are lifted. Consequently an order for personal liberty of the applicant is hereby issued.”
The judge explained in his ruling that in absence of the proper procedure, it is only prudent that Kyagulanyi is allowed personal liberty and free movement.
The court however directed that Kyagulanyi should follow the Coronavirus guidelines put in place by government and the Ministry of Health.
“It is therefore ordered that the applicant(Kyagulanyi) shall comply with SOPs set by the authorities.”
Justice Elubu also ordered government to pay costs to Kyagulanyi .
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