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{UAH} MP Ogwang’s salary attached over child neglect

MP Ogwang's salary attached over child neglect
  • Written by Derrick Kiyonga
Usuk MP Peter Ogwang

Usuk MP Peter Ogwang has lodged a challenge in the High court to halt a magistrate's court order attaching part of his parliamentary salary to cater for his three-year-old child.

Nakawa Family and Children's division court issued the order at the urging of Lucy Amangat, the petitioner, who accuses MP Ogwang of child neglect.

In 2016, the Nakawa grade two magistrate, Jolly Rose Onyango, ordered Ogwang to provide for his child; a medical insurance, upkeep of Shs 400, 000 per month, clothing of Shs 300,000 after every six months, shelter worth Shs 450,000 and also pay the child's school fees when the need arises.

When the orders went unheeded by the MP, the magistrate wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga authorizing her to attach part of the legislator's salary to be paid into the account of the complainant in Centenary bank. 

In her communication dated February 24, 2017, Onyango authorized parliament to deduct Shs 7.4m from Ogwang's salary after refusing to pay for the child's upkeep and schools fees.

Among other things, parliament, according to the court order, was asked to deduct from Ogwang's salary Shs 2m for the child's medical insurance and also Shs 1.5m for costs Amangat incurred during the protracted litigation.     

However, Ogwang who is also a parliamentary commissioner, wants the High court to stay the execution of the order. He said he has lodged a substantive application which seeks to review the orders of the Nakawa court. 

"That the substantive application for stay of execution has a high likelihood of success since there is a warrant of attachment of earnings/salary issued by the magistrates' court," Ogwanga says, adding, "That if this application is not granted the substantive application for stay of execution and the revision, proceedings will be rendered nugatory and futile."   

Through Wamimbi Advocates and Solicitors, Ogwang says that Onyango's orders are illegal since she awarded Amangat costs without a bill of costs or certificate of taxation. It's also the legislator's contention that attachment of his salary is no longer necessary because he has ordered Shs 500,000 to be deducted off his account per month, enrolled the child on the parliamentary medical scheme and pays schools fees. 

However, on Friday, when the case came before Alex Mackey Ajiji, the deputy registrar of the civil division of the High court, Amangat complained that Ogwang is not telling the whole truth in his application. 

"Your worship, he only paid the school fees one week ago after the child was chased from school," Amangat, who was emotionally charged, said.
"I hear that he even says the child is not his but if it's possible we can do a DNA test," she added. 

Amangat's lawyer, Odokel Opolot, informed Ajiji that Ogwang wasn't paying the rent as the magistrate had ordered but Ogwang's lawyer Emmanuel Wamimbi had a rather peculiar explanation for that decision.

"Our client [Ogwang] cannot pay rent because she [Amangat] is staying with another man," Wamimbi said while laughing, "Our client cannot pay for another man, it's not possible…."

Wamimbi said Ogwang has failed to attend court proceedings because Amangat is fond of scandalizing him in the media. 

"Every time we go to court, there are cameras though today I'm not seeing any but our client cannot be confortable in such an environment," Wamimbi submitted.

Ajiji offered to mediate an out-of-court settlement. "These issues are sensitive and I will give you [Amangat] an opportunity to pour out your heart during mediation where the press won't be…"

At the behest of Wamimbi who fears that Ogwang's salary might be attached, Ajiji adjourned the case to today (Monday). It is not the first time an MP is involved in a child-neglect case. In 2015, Buliisa MP Stephen Mukitale was dragged to the same court by his lover Rashidah Namalwa who accused him of neglecting his two children. 

In December 2014, then Vurra MP Dr Sam Okuonzi was arrested over charges of child neglect. He was released after paying Shs 4.6m to his lover and Shs 1.5m to the court.


Gwokto La'Kitgum
"Even a small dog can piss on a tall building" Jim Hightower

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