Nabweru Magistrates’ Court last week dismissed a case filed by local television presenter, Matovu Aloysius and book author Evangelist Ssemugoma Francisco. The duo had through their lawyers Wameli and Co. Advocates sued House of Prayer Ministries International senior Pastor, Aloysius Bujjingo accusing him of violating their freedom to worship by burning several versions of the Holy Bible.
In her ruling, Chief magistrate Esther Nasambu said one of the laws under which the plaintiffs’ application was brought, Section 14 of the judicature act, applies strictly to the High Court and not the magistrates court.
It is upon this background that Mr Aloysius Matovu come out this week to thwart Pr Bujjingo’s victory asserting that ‘things are going to get tougher for him.’
“We had avoided the High Court on purpose but here we come,” Mr Matovu said in a post on his facebook page.
Evangelist Francisco said: “When a Magistrates court lacks the Jurisdiction to adjudicate the case of murder or defilement or rape or treason or terrorism, and is committed to the High Court, that doesn’t mean that the offender has won the case, it only means, his or her case is too grave to be tried by the Magistrates Court, in the same way, when the Magistrate declared that her court lacks the Jurisdiction to hear Bujjingo’s case due to its international nature and therefore, referred to the High Court with unlimited Jurisdiction, it only meant Bujjingo’s case is too grave to be tried by the Magistrates Court but not winning the Case.”
The duo however failed to respond to other issues the Magistrate raised including absence of evidence that bibles were burnt and that anyone suffered because of that.
The Magistrate had also maintained that the applicants should have brought evidence to show that they received permission from the authors of the said (burnt) versions of the bibles to represent them in the courts of law.