Press Release: Court dismisses Case against Uganda and SG on the alleged Failure to Investigate Business related to Trafficking of Military Goods (05.11.2015)

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East African Court of Justice Arusha, 5 November 2015: The First Instance Division dismissed a case filed by a Ugandan national, Oscar Okaly Opuli, against the Secretary General of the East African Community (1st Respondent) and the Republic of Uganda (2nd Respondent) alleging that the government of Uganda’s failure to investigate David Greenhugh and business related to trafficking of military goods from Ukrain to Sudan through Uganda, a conduct which is contrary to the United Kingdom’s Export Control Order Act 2008 and the East African Community Laws is an infringement of the Treaty. The Applicant also alleges that the Secretary General’s inaction constitutes an infringement of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.

In February 2015, the Court directed the Applicant to file evidence of a witness by way of affidavit and his submissions with the Court by 8th May 2015. To date none of the orders have been complied with and the Court has gone ahead and dismissed the matter.

The Court in its ruling stated that, they agree with the Counsel for the Respondents that no sufficient reasons had been advanced by the Counsel for the Applicant for his failure to take steps ordered by the Court on 23rd Feb 2015 after the Scheduling Conference. The Principal Judge Hon. Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi further said that in absence of sufficient reasons such failure amounts to abuse of Court process. The Court therefore exercised its discretion under Rule 1 (2) and 66 (3) of the Court’s Rules of procedure and dismissed the case.

Before the Court ruled, the Lawyer for the Applicant submitted that the Applicant lost contact with the witness leading the to delay in filing of the Submission as the Court had ordered in February 2015 and was requesting the Court for more time of 30 days to file the same.

Mr. Agaba representing the Secretary General also submitted opposing the prayer for the Applicant and said that Applicant has consistently shown lack of interest in the matter since the time the Court directed him to file his submission up to today. That this was evidenced by his failure to communicate to Court what the challenge was. He further said that if he had failed to submit the requirements in eight months then he might not do the same in the one month being requested for. Mr Agaba asked Court to strike out the case because the Applicants have failed to fulfill their obligations and that is the abuse of the Court’s process.

The 2nd Respondent (Attorney General of Uganda) represented by Ms. Margaret Nabakooza also associated herself with the submissions of Counsel for the Secretary General and asked Court to dismiss the case.

The matters came before a bench of the Judges of the First Instance Division composed of Honourable  Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi (Principal Judge), Justice Dr. Faustin Ntezilyayo, and Justice Fakihi A . Jundu.

Notes for editors
Rule 1 (2) of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure 2013 states that; nothing in these Rules shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent power of the Court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the Court.

Rule 66 (3) of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure 2013 provides that; Where any party to whom time has been granted fails to produce evidence or to cause the attendance of its witness, or to perform any other act necessary to the further progress of the case, the Court may, notwithstanding such failure, proceed to determine the dispute or reference forthwith.

About the EACJ

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.

For more information please contact:

Ms. Geraldine Umugwaneza, Ag. Registrar

Mr. Owora Richard Othieno, Head of Department;
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department;
EAC Secretariat
Tel: +255 784 835021; Email:

East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania

Welcome to the East African Court of Justice

Uganda – Former Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi speaks out again on WBS TV (16.08.2015)

Interesting, eh? Good to hear from him again. Though he as arrogant as ever. This time he isn’t talking wealth, more about his education and political science! That he claims to master, if you mastered it, why are you here addressing your life in public? Doesn’t make sense? Shouldn’t you play shaddow games and get the public behind you in a proper way. But I was happy to not hear you massive claim of self-made trip this time. Actually talking with some calm and relaxed not acting up. One thing: I have to ask Hon. Mirundi after seeing this interview!  Who knows that person out there, that is the supposed computer genius that leaked the tape? I am sure just somebody left a recorder in the room and then sent it online. Get back and run your Minibuses, Mirundi!   

Tamale Mirundi Tape from Youtube from 20th July 2015 – The controversial 8 minutes!


Press Release – Burundi Crisis: PALU and EACSOF Jointly file a case at the EACJ Challenging the Constitutional Court of Burundi and CENI’S Decisions Permitting President Nkurunziza’s Third Term Re-Run for Elections (06.07.2015)

Monday 6 July 2015, the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) together with the East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF) filed an application at the East African Court of Justice. The purpose of this application is to obtain a ruling from the East African Court of Justice on the legality of the decision reached by the Constitutional Court of Burundi on 5th May 2015, which allowed President Nkurunziza to run for a third term in elections. This decision was reached despite the following;
  1. On 28th August 2000, the Government of the Republic of Burundi signed the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement (Arusha Agreement) which provides that the President of the Republic of Burundi “shall be elected for a term of 5 years, renewable only once. No one may serve more than 2 presidential terms.”
  2. The Constitution of Burundi clearly provides that “The President of the Republic is elected by universal direct suffrage for a mandate of five years renewable one time.”
  3. That the decision by the Constitutional Court of Burundi was reached under great pressure and intimidation. This became apparent when the vice president of the Court, Mr. Sylvere Nimpagaritse fled the country and the decision was thus reached in the absence of a full bench.
Civil Society Organisations are convinced that the people of Burundi are unhappy with the decision of the Constitutional Court and the President’s bid to run for a third term, however elections are set to proceed despite the political turmoil and unrest, and notwithstanding the following:
  1. The African Union and East African Community have made calls for the elections to be postponed;
  2. Threats and intimidation continue: On 28th June 2015, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Pie Ntavyohanyuma fled the country, on 25th June 2015 the 2nd Vice President of the Republic, Mr. Gervais Rufyikiri also fled, on 30th May 2015, the Vice-President of the Commission électorale nationale indépendante/Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Republic of Burundi, Ms. Spes-Caritas Ndironkeye, together with a Member of the said Commission, Ms. Illuminata Ndabahagamye fled as well.
PALU and EACSOF are hoping to obtain the following remedies from the East African Court of Justice:
  1. A Declaration that the decisions by the Constitutional Court of Burundi and the CENI violate the Arusha Agreement and the Constitution of Burundi;
  2. A Declaration that the decision of the Constitutional Court of Burundi violates the treaty for the establishment of the East African Community;
  3. An Order to quash the decision of the Constitutional Court of Burundi and the CENI’s decision which allowed Pierre Nkurunziza to run illegally for third term.
Click here to read the official press statement by the Burundi Civil Society Organizations engaged in Citizens’ initiative to ensure compliance with the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi and the Constitution.
For more information about the case, follow through our social pages using#PALUatCourt #BurundiCrisis and please contact the following:Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer, Pan African Lawyers Union

Morris Odhiambo, President, East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum