Cissy Namukasa: Watchdog Legal Brains Trust Demands Periodic Reports On Search For Drowned Woman’s Body

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The High Court presided over by Justice Micheal Elubu will next Wednesday, June, 17, hear an urgent application for ‘provisional measures’ in the case filed by Legal Brains Trust, a Kampala-based Democracy and human rights watchdog, against Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Attorney General in relation to the drowning of Ms. Cissy Namukasa in the Nakawa drainage channel on May, 2.

Ms. Cissy Namukasa drowned during a heavy downpour after she fell in an open man hole and was washed away by the fast running water. Following this, Legal Brains Trust filed a suit (main case) through GEM advocates seeking among other orders, a court declaration of violation of the right to life of Ms. Cissy by both KCCA and the government by failing to make city channels safe for pedestrians.

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The right to life contained in Article 22 of the Constitution provides that: no person is to be deprived of the right to life intentionally except in execution of a sentence passed by fair trial by a court in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Uganda. In the suit, the Human Rights Watchdog also seeks compensation to the family of the late Cissy Namukasa of up to UGX 500 million.

Legal Brains Trust now seeks,in application for interim orders, that both KCCA and government give periodic updates concerning the search for the body of the late Ms. Cissy Namukasa. Advocate Stanley Okecho of Gem Advocates, in a press statement issued after service of court papers on KCCA and the Attorney General’s chambers explains that the watchdog seeks ” a timetable of court-ordered progress reports concerning the efforts taken or intended to be taken by KCCA, Police and other lawful agencies in the search for the body of Cissy Namukasa”


Also Read: Gaping man holes and drains in Uganda: A Legal Perspective


“Court has been petitioned to order that KCCA and other government agencies shall not discontinue the search for the body of Cissy Namukasa, and shall report periodically about their efforts, until a final decision on the main case has been rendered by the Court.’’ He said.

The main case has been scheduled for hearing on 15 September 2020.

According to court documents, KCCA and other government agencies should be ordered to submit reports to the court within one month from the date the Orders are made and thereafter, every two months on all measures taken in search of the body till the court renders it’s final decision.

In his affidavit in support of the court application, Mr. Isaac Ssemakadde, the Executive Director of Legal Brains Trust said KCCA and other government agencies threaten to abandon the search for the body of Ms Cissy Namukasa without providing minimum transparency and accountability to her family concerning the measures taken to search for her body if the requested orders are not made.

This, to him, may defeat or complicate the implementation of the reliefs sought in the main case.
He also emphasizes that the provisional measures are necessary to alleviate the trauma and suffering of the family of Cissy Namukasa and give them a chance of ‘closure’ in a dignified manner.

Hero
Mr Ssemakadde also praised one Mr Bernard Ekirapa, an employee of Supa Loaf Bakery in Kampala who was captured on video trying to save the late Cissy Namukasa from drowning noting ” this court process issued on the eve of Heroes’ Day, is tribute to the patriotism of a true hero, Mr. Bernard Ekirapa, an employee of Supa Loaf Bakery, who tried his best to save Cissy Namukasa from drowning on that rainy day”

” This is the first of many steps we shall take in seeking accountability from KCCA and the Attorney General’s chambers in the hope that Ms. Cissy Namukasa’s family will soon find closure’’ He added.


 

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Benjamin M. Ahikiiriza is the founder of thelegalreports.com. He is also its Chief Editor and writes about legal news.

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