By HOMELAND MEDIA TEAM
A human rights watchdog has asked court to issue a warrant of arrest against Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director Dorothy Kisaka and Kampala minister Kabuye Kyofatogabye for failing or neglecting to implement a court order in regard to ensuring the safety of city dwellers two years after the ruling.
On November 1, 2021, Kampala High Court Judge Michael Elubu ordered KCCA and the Attorney General (AG) to report to Parliament within three months from the date of issuing the judgment, on the progress it had made in addressing the dangers posed by unsafe roads, open drainage channels, sewers, open manholes and related infrastructure.
Court also ordered that the report should include a comprehensive maintenance plan and that the respondents had infringed on the right to life, protection from deprivation of property, and right to a safe and clean environment of Kampala City dwellers.
The judge’s decision was prompted by a 2020 application in which Legal Brains Trust, a democracy and human rights watchdog, sued KCCA and the AG in connection with the drowning of Cissy Namukasa, 56, on May 9, 2020 in Nakawa, Kampala after a downpour.
The human rights watchdog accused the city authority of failing to enforce a clear plan to protect city dwellers from loss of life, limb, and property as a result of unsafe and hazardous roads, drainage channels, sewers, and related infrastructure.
Legal Brains Trust had also sought an Shs500m compensation for Namukasa’s family.
“It is true that the respondents cannot control weather events but it has a constitutional duty to mitigate any life-threatening outcomes,” Justice Elubu ruled.
He added: “As seen, there is no plan in place to show what mitigation to control the effects of flooding. Instead, the manner of response shows that the respondents have contributed to the danger from the way they manage the drainage, sewers, or from the current road design”.
However, in an application for execution of the order, Legal Brains Trust, through their lawyers of GEM Advocates, are accusing KCCA of failing to honour the court order and thus calling for the arrest of the concerned officials for being in contempt of court.
According to the application, Legal Brains Trust is also seeking the execution of earlier orders that were made by the court.
“If no appearance is made on your behalf, by yourself or someone authorized by law to act for you, the case will be heard in your absence,” reads the hearing notice.