Mbarara High Court Deputy Registrar, Amos Kwizera has nullified its earlier court order for the attachment Kabaragame market, a renowned weekly pork market located in Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality.
The decision came at the peak of public demonstrations led by the area Member of Parliament Hon. Arinda Gordon Kakumba Cowboy and Bushenyi District Chairman Hajji Jaffar Basajjabalaba.
The market is one of the municipality properties that were meant to be attached and sold by local businessman Manfred Muhumuza, who is owed up to Shs 2billion by the Municipality.
Other properties include the Municipality taxi park as well as the houses of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
The High Court Deputy Registrar in his ruling yesterday also halted the process of eviction of traders from the market by Muhumuza until the two parties agree on the payment methods.
Apollo Kakonge Lee, the Director Western Ankole Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) who attended the court session, said that whereas the municipal council lost the case against Muhumuza, the two parties never agreed on the payment mechanisms.
“All these orders you saw in papers that led to the solidarity match last week were obtained in a manipulative way because sometime in June, court convened and the two parties (municipal council and the lawyers for Mr. Muhumuza) agreed on the costs, but they didn’t discuss on the payment schedule,” Kakonge explained.
He says the matter was later adjourned to July but that Muhumuza and his lawyers did not appear in court.
“In July when the municipal representatives and the Solicitor General returned to court, Manfred’s lawyers did not appear, so the matter was adjourned to September 2 which is today,” said Kakonge on Monday.
He accused Muhumuza and his lawyers of misinforming the new deputy registrar, Kwizera Amos who mistakenly signed the court orders.
“Manfred’s lawyers went back to court and talked to the deputy registrar and somehow manipulated the entire court system,” Kakonge told reporters.
He said that it was the municipal council officials led by their Solicitor General, Mwebaze Grace Ndibarema that ran to court after seeing notices in papers.
The deputy court registrar, Kwizera later admitted that he indeed erred and rescinded the earlier orders.
“When we went to the court registrar, he confirmed that he had issued those orders because he was not aware of other processes that were ongoing. He also said that he was not aware that they (parties) were supposed to appear in court on 2nd of September”
Kwizera also questioned the lawyers of the complainant in reference to the costs in question, saying there is no certificate of the bill of costs awarded to Muhumuza that would give grounds for his claim to the municipal council.
“So the two parties agreed that Muhumuza should first obtain the certificate of bill of costs before he can start asking for the money”.
Kwizera added that as regards the Ishaka tax park dispute, the Court of Appeal judgment did not give Muhumuza any permission to evict the traders who are operating in the park.
However, Muhumuza had been using his agents and court bailiffs to evict park operators from Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality Taxi Park.
For that matter, the Deputy Registrar also put on hold any process aimed at evicting the said traders.
Kwizera maintains that court will follow the required procedures for Muhumuza’s application to recover his money from the municipal council only after both parties have sat and agreed.
The Bushenyi Ishaka municipality Mayor, Jackson Kamugasha expressed joy and described the latest ruling by court as a big relief.
“They (Muhumuza and his lawyers) deceived the Registrar because they didn’t serve our Solicitor General in regards to what was going on. They instead manipulated the whole exercise because the Deputy Registrar was New in office,” said the Mayor.