The High Court in Kampala has thrown out an application for a temporary injunction in which former Security Minister and presidential aspirant, Lt.Gen. Henry Tumukunde sought to have criminal summons against him by the Criminal Investigations Division halted.
Tumukunde sued CID director, AIGP Grace Akullo and the Attorney General seeking orders that the arrest threats issued to him through summons by CID are a violation of his fundamental rights to association but also stop police from arresting him for not honoring the summons.
He later filed for a temporary injunction stopping CID from summoning, arresting and detaining him until the main case is disposed of.
On Tuesday, Justice Musa Ssekaana ruled that he could not issue an order stopping a government body from doing its functions.
“The grant of a temporary injunction against public authorities or entities is treated with caution and circumspection. Normally injunctions must not be granted against the public authorities or respondent’s executing public utilities or implementation of government projects,”Ssekaana said.
He said public interest is one of the paramount and relevant consideration in either granting or refusing temporary injunctions and that courts should be careful while granting the same.
“Courts of law should be loath or slow to grant injunction when a public project for the beneficial interest of the public at large is sought to be delayed or prevented by an order of injunction, damage from such injunction would cause the public at large as well as to a government is a paramount factor to be considered.”
The judge explained that in the case before him, Police is mandated to protect life and property, preserve law and order and prevent and detect crime yet the effect of the injunction sought by Tumukunde is to stop them(Police) from investigating and detecting crime, a thing he said cannot be allowed.
Justice Ssekaana also noted that the presidential aspirant has not shown cause for not summoning him by the CID noting that had he done so, could would have reason to grant a temporary injunction for him.
“The applicant(Tumukunde) has not availed any evidence to support his case for a temporary injunction. He has only stated that he does not know why he is summoned and that he is a civilian who is not subject to or connected to the UPDF or military law whatsoever,”Ssekaana said.
“The sum effect is that he has failed to make out a prima facie case that would have moved court to exercise its discretion to grant a temporary injunction.”
According to the judge, court should always extend its hand to protect a citizen who is being wronged or being deprived of property but should follow the right procedures which are fundamental and vital.
“In the result for the reasons stated herein above this application fails and is hereby dismissed with costs.”
In the main case where the Attorney General and CID director AIGP Grace Akullo are listed as respondents, Tumukunde avers that summons issued to him are not justifiable or acceptable in a free and democratic society and therefore an infringement on his rights.
He says the summons are an infringement to his right to personal liberty, freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to participate in the affairs of governance in accordance with the law.