Witchcraft case: Court asks for Kadaga defence

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

The High court in Jinja has asked Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the speaker of parliament, to file her defence in a case brought against her by a traditional healer.

Summons issued on February 6 by the deputy registrar of the court, Jesse Byaruhanga, note that if Kadaga doesn’t file her defence within two weeks, the court may proceed to rule on the matter without hearing from her.

“Whereas the above named plaintiff has instituted a suit against you upon the claim particulars of which are set out in the copy of the plaint attached, you are hereby requested to file a defence in the said suit within 15 days from the date of service of summons on you in the manner presented under civil procedure rules as amended. Should you fail to file a defence on or before the date mentioned, the plaintiff may proceed with the suit and judgement may be given in your absence,” the summons read.

Kamuli district resident Damiano Akuze claims that on September 1, 1990, Kadaga approached him at his shrine in Buwala village, Lulyambuzi parish, Wankola sub-county seeking help and traditional medicine.

He alleges that Kadaga requested him to help her get a big job in government where she would be driven in a convoy like a president. Akuze adds in his plaint that Kadaga didn’t have money to pay him at the time. He, however, agreed to work on her on condition that the speaker would pay as soon as she got money.

“The defendant worked on the plaintiff for two nights…and the defendant acknowledged the good care that the plaintiff gave her,” the suit reads in part.

It adds that since that time, the witch doctor has been administering traditional medicines on Kadaga. In the said period, she has served as an East African delegate, member of parliament, minister and currently as speaker of parliament.

So far, Akuze notes that Kadaga has only paid him Shs 1 million in 2017 when she last received his services, leaving a balance of Shs 204 million. He adds that as a result, he has suffered mental anguish and inconvenience for which he demands general damages and compensation.

Kadaga reaction

In a press statement released by clerk to parliament Jane Kibirige on behalf of Kadaga last week, the speaker distanced herself from Akuze, calling his claims the handiwork of her detractors.

Kadaga observed that she was elected MP in 1989 a year before Akuze claims to have administered his charms to enable her become a leader. She adds that she only became minister in 1996, seven years after the alleged claims of using witchcraft.

“Therefore, Mr Akuze’s claim that he catapulted her to the post of minister within a flash should be treated with the contempt it deserves,” the statement said. It also noted that for the positions of deputy speaker and speaker, she attained them through hard work, not witchcraft.

“We hope and pray that Akuze’s comical and fraudulent allegations will be dismissed by court…any sober mind can discern the malice aforethought that is embedded in this mischief by her detractors,” the statement added.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd