Government Fails to Appeal UGX 2.9 Trillion Compensation Judgment

Government has failed to appeal against the high court ruling ordering payment of 2.9 trillion shillings to war victims in Lango region for the loss of livestock.

In 2010, war victims under Lango War Claimants Association sued Government in a civil suit number 027/2010 at Lira High Court demanding for compensation for their animals and property lost during wars between 1986 and 2006.

On July 14th 2014, Justice Byamukama Mugenyi stated that government failed in its duty to protect people and their properties during and after the insurgency.

He therefore ordered government to compensate the 69,457 war victims to help them rebuild their lives and recover from the economic inconveniences inflicted on them during the two decade instability.

He ordered that government pays a total of 1,100,055 head of cattle at Ugx 900,000 each and each of the 796,377 goats and sheep be paid at the Ugx 160,000.

He further ordered that each claimant be paid Ugx 4M as general damages and Ugx 1M each for exemplary costs which they incurred while pursuing the case and that government should grant the claimants 25% of the total award since 2004 to date.

But Henry Oluka, the principal state attorney in the office of the Attorney General on 15th July communicated to the registrar of the court of appeal expressing the intention of government to appeal against the ruling.

In his letter, Oluka notes that the state is dissatisfied with the ruling of Justice Mugenyi.

Under the Court of appeal statutory instrument rule 13-10, an appeal must be made within 60 days from date which judgment was passed but since that time Oluka and his team has never filed.

Ordinarily the Attorney General was expected to file a petition between July 15th and September 15th but it did happen.

Lira High court registrar Cissy Mudhasi confirmed not receiving any appeal from the attorney General’ office against the ruling but  decline to reveal if their days to appeal had expired.

Moses Ngabirano, a clerk at the Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court confirmed not receiving any appeal from the Attorney General’s office.

He says they can only appeal with the mandatory days which once expire, their appeal shall be rejected.

Makmot Kibwanga, the war claimants’ defense lawyer says he is ready to battle attorney General until their Ugx 2.9 trillion compensation is made.

He said they will soon invite Attorney General for verification of beneficiaries of the 2.9 trillion shillings compensation.

Lira high court has so far passed about three separate rulings in favor of war victims ordering government to pay huge sum of compensation but attorney General never appealed against it.
Hence a high likelihood that it may not appeal against the July ruling. Attorney General’s office reluctantly refused to comment on the matter as to why they did not file the appeal.

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