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Court Halts Fraud Investigations Against Masaka Deputy Court Registrar

It is alleged that Mudhasi had conspired with lawyers Akleo Mugisha and Martha Orishaba, and the RAM Engineering Company Director Julius Mugambagye to defraud Makerere University of 3.5 billion shillings among other allegations.
Fred Muwema represents the Registrar Cissy Mudhasi

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The High Court has issued a temporary injunction blocking the Uganda Police Force and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit from continuing with the inquiries into alleged fraud of more than three billion shillings by the Masaka Deputy Court Registrar Cissy Kawuma Mudhasi. 

Justice Musa Ssekaana the head of the Civil Division has issued an order that will be in place until the determination of the pending main case for enforcement of rights seeking to challenge the Criminal investigations into Mudhasi’s judicial work which are being conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department of Police and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

Mudhasi was interdicted on June 24th, 2020 by the then Acting Chief Registrar Tom Chemutai accusing her of three offences including producing poor standard work, conducting herself in a manner prejudicial to the image and dignity and reputation of service contrary to the Judicial Service regulations of 2005.

It is alleged that Mudhasi had conspired with lawyers Akleo Mugisha and Martha Orishaba, and the RAM Engineering Company Director Julius Mugambagye to defraud Makerere University of 3.5 billion shillings among other allegations.

According to the court records seen by URN, Mudhasi who is considered as the prime suspect in this matter did this during May and June 2020 when she was employed as the Deputy Registrar abused her office and did an arbitrary act prejudicial to the interest of her employer.

The records show that this was done when Mudhasi reportedly issued exparte court orders for attachment of the money from Stanbic Bank Account of Makerere University to satisfy a non-existent arbitral award that had purportedly been won by Ram Engineering Uganda Limited without ascertaining if the University owed the company anything. 

But following her interdiction, Mudhasi was then arrested first by Uganda Police Force which interrogated her at Kibuli Criminal Investigations Department headquarters under General Enquiries File -GEF/09/2020. Police later released Mudhasi on bond in July 2020.

The evidence before court further shows that Mudhasi was also in the same month subjected to another criminal investigation in respect of her judicial work by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit under file reference E/308/20 on top of another complaint before the Judicial Service Commission.

As such, the Unit detectives who treated her as someone who had been arrested equally directed her to report every week after being given bond.

But Mudhasi through her lawyers led by Fred Muwema was not happy with the parallel investigations hence asking the court to issue a temporary injunction against them. 

Court heard that Mudhasi was to suffer double jeopardy of parallel investigations which has taken away her constitutional right to judicial immunity from suit and have visited immeasurable harm to her person.

However, the Attorney General’s chambers opposed the application arguing that the applicant was never required to report both to Uganda Police CID Headquarters and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

Mudhasi was instead told to report only at the CID office based at Parliamentary building and that she absconded to report on police bond for a long period now and has never taken steps to explain her whereabouts or the reasons for her abscondment.

In his ruling, Justice Musa Ssekaana has granted a temporary injunction saying that the application raises serious issues to be tried in the main cause especially on the legality of actions of the Uganda Police Force and State House Anti-Corruption Unit in investigating Mudhasi’s judicial work.

“The court should always be willing to extend its hand to protect a citizen who is being wronged or whose rights are being violated or threatened to be violated or is being deprived of property without any authority of law or without following procedures which are fundamental and vital.  But at the same time, judicial proceedings cannot be used to protect or perpetuate a wrong committed by a person who approaches the court. “, said Ssekaana. 

He added that the actions of the Attorney General must be rooted in the law and any divergence and abuse of power must be restrained as the court investigates the circumstances surrounding the decision made by the public body. 

According to Ssekaana, the actions of the respondent agents are a threat to the applicant’s constitutional rights, that the court as a custodian of the Constitution ought to issue orders that would ensure that the Constitution is not violated since the alleged violation will not be adequately compensated with any amount of money or earthly possessions.

Mudhasi’s lawyer Fred Muwema welcomed the ruling.

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