Hon Sam Kuteesa & 2 Others Vs Attorney General ( Constitutional Reference No. 54 O f 2011) [2012] UGCC 02 (4 April 2012);


Search Summary: 

The petitioners, ministers in the Uganda government were jointly charged
at the instance of the Inspector General of Government with the offences
of abuse of office and causing financial loss before the Chief Magistrate,
Anti-Corruption Court and were subsequently released on bail. They filed
a constitutional petition questioning the constitutionality of automatic
lapse of bail granted by the Magistrate court on committal to the High
Court and whether the inspectorate could prosecute or cause
prosecution when it’s not fully constituted.

Headnote and Holding: 

The court considered the principles governing constitutional interpretation
to include national objectives and directive principles, reading the
constitution as an integral whole, the harmonization principle, considering
the purpose and effect and that fundamental rights provisions are
permanent and meant to cater for all.
The court considered whether, when only the Inspector general of
government (in an acting capacity) is the only one lawfully appointed in
office, and the other two deputies are not yet appointed was
constitutional to prosecute or cause prosecution. The court observed that
a careful scrutiny of the provisions of the Constitution and those of the
Act that relate to the Inspectorate of Government shows that there are
specific functions and responsibilities vested in the Inspectorate of
Government as a composite entity and those vested in the Inspector
General of Government as an individual holder of that office.
The court considered whether the lapse of bail on committal to the High
Court for trial. It was stated that the right to bail is part of the enjoyment
of the right to liberty and that since the impugned section which provided
for lapse of bail on committal was to be construed with modification. It

was also stated that , automatic lapse of bail by the court committing an
accused to the High Court for trial has the unconstitutional effect of
condemning that person unheard on whether or not he/she should
continue to enjoy the right to liberty, restored to him or her when he/she
was first granted the bail.
The petition was allowed.


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