The Constitutional Court of Uganda has ruled in favor of Kabaka, the traditional ruler of Buganda, and the Attorney General in the case of PRINCE KALEMERA H. KIMERA v THE KABAKA OF BUGANDA & THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NO. OO9 of 2O2O).

Prince, Kalemera H. Kimera, the grandson of His Highness Sir Daudi Chwa II brought forth a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Traditional Rulers (Restitution of Assets and Properties) Act (also known as “the TRRAP Act”).

Through this law, Government vested several assets and properties in the Kabaka, including the Namasole’s 10 square miles of land, Kabaka’s lake, and all Bassekabaka’s tombs. It was argued that the TRRAP Act violates Article 26 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda which safeguards the right to property, and Article 21 in as much as it discriminates against him and other beneficiaries by birth, and social standing, from claiming interest in the estate of his father and grandfather.

Hon, Lady Justice lrene Mulyagonja. JCC in her ruling expressed that the petition was an abuse of court process. She noted that the Prince has three suits pending in the courts over the same matter. Furthermore, Hon, Lady Justice Irene emphasized that the vesting/return of the assets that were confiscated from the traditional ruler of Buganda under Article 188 of the 1966 Constitution did not amount to compulsory acquisition of those assets by the Government of Uganda and the Kabaka.

Consequently, court dismissed the petition with costs holding that it was filed contrary to procedure and underscoring that the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court of Uganda is limited to interpretation or construction of the Constitution as the primary objective.

Court directed the Prince to pursue determination of the pending suits in the High Court in order to obtain a remedy for the violation of his Constitutional rights under the TRRAP Act.

Authored by Isabella Pedun