The Law Development Centre court in Kampala has for the third time, extended criminal summons against National Unity Platform (NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi over charges levelled against him of obtaining registration by false pretense at Makerere University.
The extension of summons was communicated to journalists at the LDC court by lawyer Male Mabirizi. He said that he got information from the clerk to LDC magistrate, Augustine Alule that the trial magistrate was indisposed and thus extended the summons to January 10, 2022.
The case was initially filed by Mabirizi in September 2021, accusing Kyagulanyi of having been admitted to Makerere University to pursue a diploma in music, dance and drama (MDD) on mature-age entry when he allegedly did not meet the criteria for such admission.
The case was later taken over by the director of public prosecutions (DPP). In his evidence before court, Mabirizi indicates that Kyagulanyi was only 20 years old at the time of his admission on October 21, 2000, which was contrary to the Makerere University prospectus. The prospectus set the minimum age for mature entry at 25 years, or for one to have completed formal education at least five years prior to the year of admission.
But this, Mabirizi said, was not the case with Kyagulanyi, adding that there was proof that Kyagulanyi was born on February 12, 1980, and studied from Kololo senior secondary school and Kitante Hill School based on the records that he had personally used to obtain the contentious registration and admission to Makerere.
Subsequently, Mabirizi asked court to summon Kyagulanyi to appear and answer to the aforementioned charges, saying that he had fraudulently studied on government sponsorship and accordingly obtained registration by false pretence, an offense that attracts a one year jail term if found guilty.
But ever since the DPP took over the matter, Kyagulanyi has never appeared in court. On November 4, 2021, the LDC resident state attorney Hanifa Kasana informed court that the case file had been submitted to the DPP for perusal but Kyagulanyi was not in court. Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Geoffrey Turyamusiima were present and told court that they will bring him at the next session.
The summons were accordingly issued requiring Kyagulanyi to appear on November 30, 2021, but on that day, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers were present but instead it was the magistrate who was away attending a state function.
The summons were later pushed to December 13 but neither Kyagulanyi, his lawyers nor the magistrate was present at court yesterday. When contacted, Kyagulanyi’s lawyer Turyamusiima noted that his client was willing to appear in court yesterday but they received a call informing them that the magistrate would not be around.
Court had earlier in the morning been informed that the magistrate had gone to the hospital and would return at 2 pm but the case was later adjourned to next year January 10 when the magistrate failed to make it.
Mabirizi said there are indications that the DPP is not willing to take on the case hurriedly and if the court had proceeded, he would have asked court to bring back his case from the DPP to let him prosecute it to its logical conclusion because he has sufficient evidence to pin Kyagulanyi on the alleged crimes.