Buganda Road Magistrates Court has approved a request by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to take over criminal proceedings against Robert Kyagulanyi, the leader of the National Unity Platform.
The matter was taken to court by lawyer Male Mabirizi, who accused Kyagulanyi of falsifying documents to indicate that he was born in 1982, yet there is enough evidence, to show that he was born two years earlier. The falsified documents were used to secure a passport, and in his nomination as a parliamentary candidate.
However, two weeks ago when the matter came up for hearing, State Attorney Peter Mugisha asked the court presided over by Grade One Senior Magistrate Stella Maris Amabilis to allow the office of the DPP to take over the criminal proceedings. Mugisha stated that Mabirizi did not have proof from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Parliament to show that Kyagulanyi had lied to them about his age.
On Monday, 28th September, the magistrate concurred with Mugisha and allowed the DPP to take over the proceedings, in line with article 120 of the constitution, which gives the DPP powers to continue any criminal proceedings instituted by any person or authority. She added that the constitution overrides the powers given to her under the Magistrates Act which Mabirizi had based on to file his application before the court.
“The DPP has powers to institute criminal proceedings at any time and doesn’t need to apply for a leave of court to execute her mandate,“ Amabilis said. She asked Mabirizi to furnish the DPP with the documents in his possession such that investigations can commence.
Shortly after the ruling, Mabirizi asked for the typed copy of the decision to enable him to apply for review before the High Court.
Mabirizi started the petition after information on the parliament website indicated that Kyagulanyi was born in 1982, completed Primary Leaving Education at nine years, lower secondary at 13 and A’level at 16. Mabirizi doubted whether Kyagulanyi studied primary one at just two years.