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Monday, 4 August 2014

Pro-gay lawyers to demand Shs15b in costs : When Pastor Male Attacked MPs For "Ignorantly" Passing Anti-Gay Bill and warned Museveni not to Sign Anti-Gay Bill


Pastor Male Attacks MPs For "Ignorantly" Passing Anti-Gay Bill :Museveni Shouldn’t Sign Anti-Gay Bill

Pro-gay lawyers to demand Shs15b in costs

Anti-gay activist Pastor Martin Sempa chats with one of the
Anti-gay activist Pastor Martin Sempa chats with one of the petitioners in the case, Mr Andrew Mwenda, and other activists at the Constitutional Court during proceedings last week. Photo by Faiswal Kasirye 

Posted  Monday, August 4  2014 at  01:00
In Summary
Whereas the team of petitioners have not met, Mr Alaka says he will push for a maximum figure of about Shs15b. 

Kampala- The lead lawyer of petitioners against the Anti-Homosexuality law 2014 that was annulled last Friday will demand a “high and expensive” bill of costs in the region of Shs15b, according to Mr Caleb Alaka.
Mr Alaka, however, hastened to add the team of lawyers that argued out the case is yet to meet and agree on estimates of their bill to be filed for approval by the Court’s Registrar.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Alaka said the petition was very expensive as it involved voluminous research.
“If you saw us entering court you must have observed we carried heavy files. I have never read such literature. We had to research widely and that made the petition very costly.
That is why court awarded us 50 per cent of the cost,” Mr Alaka said.

However, Mr Ladislaus Rwakafuzi, a renowned human rights lawyer, yesterday told Daily Monitor that they would ask a maximum bill of Shs500m “since it was a public interest case.”
Ms Fridah Mutesi, another lawyer who represented the petitioners declined to estimate what the bill would look like, saying: “We shall go with whatever court gives us after taxation.”
The petition against the Anti-Homosexuality law was filed by 10 pro-homosexuality rights activists including former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Prof Morris Ogenga Latigo, Makerere University law don, Prof Joe Oloka Onyango and journalist Andrew Mwenda.

Recently, court awarded Shs12.9b, almost twice the entire Judiciary annual wage bill, to city lawyer Severino Twinobusingye who blocked Parliament from forcing PM Amama Mbabazi, Ministers Sam Kutesa and Hilary Onek to ‘step aside’ over oil bribery allegations.
In an interview with this newspaper a month later, Mr Twinobusingye called the hefty award mere ‘peanuts.’
Seemingly picking a lesson from the Twinobusingye case, Mr Alaka said, “Since Twinobusingye was given Shs13b, ours will certainly be in that range or higher.”
When pressed harder, Mr Alaka said, “About Shs15b.” “We are yet to meet and agree but of course our bill will be high. With 50 per cent awarded by court that means we shall get Shs7b,” he explained. However, Mr Rwakafuzi expressed shock at the amount, saying: “That is not true. It is impossible! The maximum we can get is shs500m. There were 10 petitioners so if each is given shs50m that is 500m but remember that we were awarded half so it translates to shs250m.
Last Friday, a panel of five justices of the Constitutional Court, including acting deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma, annulled the anti-gay law. Our reporter Athony Wesaka was in court and below presents a slightly edited judgment of how the Act was annulled.
a). That the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 by the 9th Parliament on December 20, 2013, without quorum in the house was in contravention of Articles 2(1) & (2), 88 and Rule 94(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Rule 23 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure;
b). That Sections 1,2, and 4 of the Anti Homosexuality Act 2014, in defining the criminalising consensual same sex/gender sexual activity among adults in private, are in contravention of the right to equality before the law without any discrimination and the right to privacy guaranteed under Articles 2(1) &(2), 2KD (2) &(4) and 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda respectively;
c). That Section 2(1 )(c) of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, in criminalising touching by persons of the same sex creates an offence that is overly broad and is in contravention of the principle of legality under Articles 2(1) & (2), 28(1), (3b), (12), 42 and 44(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.