Court sets date to hear Mabirizi’s application challenging DPP in Bugingo Bigamy Case

Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka (File Photo)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The High Court in Kampala has set Friday, 28 January 2022 to hear an application in which city Lawyer Male Mabirizi is seeking to quash the decision by the Director of Public Prosecution – DPP to take over the trial of Pastor Aloysious Bugingo in the controversial Bigamy case.

DPP Jane Frances Abodo last week made a U-turn and declared interest in prosecuting Bugingo over his reported marriage to Susan Makula Nantaba. The decision by DPP left many shocked after the same prosecution office had on December 9, 2021, said it had no interest in the case, and therefore would not pursue it further.

Upon learning the DPP’s U-turn in the case, Lawyer Mabirizi this week on Monday January 17, 2022, filed the application challenging DPP’s position in the case saying it is illegal that the office that earlier showed no interest in the case is now making a U-turn after seeing the case developing with critical evidence tabled.

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Bugingo is accused of committing bigamy and contracting marriage by customary law with Susan Makula when already married to Teddy Naluswa under the Marriage Act. On the other hand, Makula is charged with contracting marriage with Bugingo well aware that he is legally married to another woman.

Bugingo and Naluswa got married on December 20, 2003 certificate number 376 at Victory Christian Centre. However, without a formal dissolution of their marriage, he allegedly married Makula under customary law on December 7, 2021, in Kawuku, Katabi town council in Wakiso district.

Although Bujjingo has since denied the accusations arguing that he never conducted an introduction ceremony, but only honoured an invitation by Makula’s parents, the litigants rubbished it saying they have obtained evidence from the Uganda Communications Commission-UCC and the Ministry of Gender, Labour that pins him.

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Mabirizi also wrote to 18 potential witnesses including officials at the gender ministry, Uganda Registration Services Bureau-URSB, Uganda Communications Commission-UCC, and individuals who attended the alleged traditional marriage ceremony.

Bujjingo is expected to appear in court on 21 January 2022 to defend himself against the accusations. Once convicted, he and Makula face a five-year jail sentence for each of the offences.

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