Court has finally settled a long-standing dispute between Minister Musa Echweru and a South Sudan soldier Mikaya Modi Lubajo over the refugee status of the later wife.
Justice Lydia Mugambe of the High Court Civil Division yesterday dismissed an application Mikaya filed against the Commissioner for refugees and his wife Joyce Kade. “Issues of refugees are sensitive. It is difficult for the application to succeed in circumstances where Apollo Kazungu, the Commissioner refugees found her legible.
The applicant (Mikaya) should have approached Kazungu so that they settle the matter amicably other than dragging him to court,” Justice Mugambe ruled. She said Mikaya also failed to demonstrate that Kade is in breach of any national security or public order.
In his application Mikaya had accused Echweru who is also the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness of hiding his wife and giving her preferential treatment in according her a refugee status.
He letter changed his mind and sued Kazungu and Kade alone seeking that court should order Kazungu to cancel Kade’s refugee status.
In his application he asserted that he and Kade are members of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) but had migrated to Uganda in 2001 from where they produced five children and even built
several rental houses in Ttula Kirokole zone.
“During this stay, I discovered my wife had become promiscuous and I tried to resolve the issues with her, but she disappeared from our matrimonial home and pulled our children from school,” Lubajo narrates.
He said Kade removed his children from top schools like Seeta High, Trinity College Nabbingo among others where he was educating them and wanted her refugee status cancelled so that she can return to Sudan to enable an amicable settlement of their differences.
He stated that despite his wife having been granted refugee status in Uganda, she continued to hold a Sudanese passport and would travel to several other countries like South Africa and Sudan itself.
He further accused Kazungu of not following proper procedure before granting her refugee status. Immediately the case was filed, Echweru called a press conference at which he denied ever being involved in the process to award Kade refugee status.
Justice Mugambe noted that the minister has powers to grant refugee status to people as a result of influx and section 28 of the refugee act mandates the minister to publish such grant in the Uganda gazette.
She said granting a person refugee status is a humanitarian act and granting it cannot be taken as a hostile act against the country of origin.
“Before I take leave of this matter, I note that Mikaya developed marital misunderstandings with Kade before filing this application so this appears to be an act of vengeance against Kade.
This court cannot be party to such,” Mugambe ruled. She dismissed the application with costs to Kade. The application challenging her refugee status was filed in April 2013 and she also filed for divorce against Mikaya in July the same year.