Buganda Road Court has allowed the Director of Public Prosecutions to take over a case involving foreign affairs minister Sam Kuteesa on alleged illegal repatriation of 3 citizens into the country.
The said repatriation was contrary to public health guidelines issued to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The order has been issued today by a grade one magistrate Stella Amabilis who has also ordered that all those intending to open private prosecution against Minister Kuteesa should pass on the necessary evidence to the office of the DPP who is mandated by law to institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the state.
The Director of Public Prosecutions on Monday applied before court to take over Kuteesa’s prosecution from a one advocate Leonard Otee for repatriating businessman Ben Kavuya’s family into Uganda during the Covid -19 Lock down.
Otee through his lawyers; Nicholas Opio and Derrick Tumusiime wants Kuteesa and the Kavuyas to face charges over an act likely to cause the spread of an infectious disease and disobedience of lawful orders.
Both offenses carry a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment upon conviction.
Otee had stated in his application that the act of the minister to authorize; Barbra Kavuya, Blanche Kabuju and Isiah Tiba Byabashaija to enter and live in Uganda in total disregard of ministry of health public health directive to stop cross-border movements, constitutes a criminal offense.
The said 3 persons entered Uganda on May 18th 2020 from New York city aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Aircraft contrary to the ministerial order locking down the airport from 24th/March to date.
However, the decision by court to take over the case has not gone well with Otee and his lawyer who have decided to appeal to the High Court, on grounds that the magistrate has handed over the case to the DPP pre-maturely before confirming the charge against Kuteesa.