Jinja – 25, May 2020: Embattled Jinja Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Sakwa Eric Joseph has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the District Internal Security Officer (DISO), Lt. Fred Musoke.
The ultimatum to DISO demands him to vacate the RDC’s office or face legal consequences. Mr Sakwa was interdicted early this month to allow proper investigations into a manslaughter charge against him.
Sakwa was last month [April] arrested alongside Mr Bazimbyewa Bumali, 19, a mechanic and Mr Muhammed Simba alias Meddie, 31, and charged with manslaughter, resulting from his “iron hand” execution of the President’s orders in containing the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter dated 25 May 2020, addressed to the DISO and copied to the Attorney General and Secretary to the Office of the President, Hajji Yunus Kakande, Lawyers representing Mr Sakwa (Nyote & Co. Advocates) have given the DISO one day to leave the office of the RDC or they will start proceedings to arrest him for contempt of Court and attachment of his property.
The lawyers allege that the DISO raided the RDC’s office and assumed control of it before their client could hand over office to him.
Mr Sakwa has reportedly obtained an interim order stopping the handover of his office to DISO or any interference with his function.
Through his lawyers, Sakwa ran to the High Court in Jinja saying he was unfairly treated while being interdicted from office. The matters are before Jinja Chief Magistrate, Jessica Chemerri
“The applicant was never given any hearing before the interdiction letter was written and all rules of natural justice were flouted. The ostensible reason for interdiction is a case of manslaughter for which the applicant was charged in Court, yet it is not one of the conditions of service for the applicant that if he has any criminal case against him, he has to be interdicted,” the court documents say.
Joseph Sakwa also argues that Hajji Yunus Kakande, the secretary to the Office of the President wrote the interdiction letter by which there is no proof that his appointing authority, President Museveni, authorized the same.
According to reports, Sakwa has been fighting land grabbers, corruption, theft of drugs and equipment from hospitals and absenteeism by teachers. But he has also been bashing these culprits in the media, which has led to the escalation of his woes.
On Monday 25, May 2020, his co-accused appeared in Court for hearing of their bail application. However, only Muhammed Simba was granted bail, whereas Bazimbyewa was denied bail as his surety lacked valid documents.
Museveni directs Sakwa to leave office
In his May 20, 2020 letter to Presidency Minister, Esther Mbayo, President Museveni directed that Sakwa should leave office to allow investigations be conducted.
“…. it’s good that Sakwa got bail. Let him go on leave for two months and work with Director of Public Prosecution and Court to get facts and conclude the case. This is not a political matter for dialogue. It’s a serious criminal allegation. If the accusers of Sakwa are lying, it will boomerang on them,” Museveni said in his letter.
Story by Nelly Otto & Justin Omara
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