PEOPLE POWER: Court sets April 1 as Judgement date for Kyarenga music concerts case

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Court has set April 1 to decide in the case in which events promoters are challenging the Police decision to indefinitely stop them from organizing ‘Kyarenga extra concerts’ in which Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine was the main performer.

High Court Judge Esta Nambayo has set the date on Tuesday, February 20 after both parties the government and the events lawyers filing written submissions as directed by court.

The concerts were to be at One Love Beach Busabala in Wakiso District, Lira, Gulu and Arua.

In April last year, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Assuman Mugenyi directed police commanders to block all planned music concerts by Mr Kyagulanyi.

The move prompted the promoters Abby Musinguzi trading as Abtex Productions and Bajjo Events and Marketing Agency Limited to run to court accusing the IGP and the Attorney General of acting are illegally, irrationally and in abuse of his powers.

Through their lawyers, the music promoters; Abby Musinguzi trading as Abtex Productions and Bajjo Events and Marketing Agency Limited contend that the Police directives were illegal, irrational and an abuse of the powers of their offices.

They allege that the decisions were made in violation of their right to a fair hearing guaranteed under Articles 28, 42 and 44 of the Constitution.

“The arrest and detention of the first applicant (Musinguzi) and Andrew Mukasa (managing director of Bajjo Events) on April 22, the day on which the Kyarenga Extra concerts were to premier at Busabaala Beach deprived them of their personal liberties and amounted to violation of their right to carry on trade and business contrary to Article 20, 23 and 40 of the Constitution,” reads the court documents.

They are seeking for court orders quashing the Police decision contained in an April 19, 2019 directive halting Kyarenga Extra Concerts indefinitely and instead direct the police chief to provide security at their concerts.

According to the letter also copied to Abtex Promotions, the organiser of Easter Monday show at One Love Beach Busabala; Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander and all regional police commanders, Mr Mugenyi directed that the commanders must comply because the musician cum politician had always disregarded the set and agreed upon guidelines for such activities.

The music promoters are seeking for an order restraining and preventing and stopping the IGP and AG and their servants from unduly interfering with their concerts and also stopping the IGP from assuming powers of authorizing and or sanctioning holding of music shows and celebrations of a social nature.

In a sworn statement, Mr Musinguzi states that they entered into a contract for services with Mr Kyagulanyi to organise music concerts during the Easter period in different parts of the country where the MP and his crew were meant to perform and also provide more artists for the utmost entertainment of the revelers at the total consideration of Shs230m and that they paid half of the consideration being a non-refundable booking fee on all shows.

“The applicants fulfilled all conditions set by Police to wit; clearance to use the intended venues, a detailed programme for each activity, ambulance facilities and lists of performers at each venue; and the IGP was notified accordingly but unfortunately, in a letter dated April 19, 2019 the IGP directed the applicants to immediately suspend and or stop all concerts without advancing any valid reason whatsoever,” he states.

He contends that the conduct of the Police throughout the entire process was fraught with irrationality, illegality, procedural impropriety, bad faith and amounted to violation of their freedom to liberty and economic rights.

However the AG represented by Ms Josephine Kiyingi insists that the promotors did not follow the directives that where given to them by police thus leading to the blocking of the concerts.

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