Introduction

The Application is brought under sections 33 and 36 of the Judicature Act, Cap 13, Section 98 of the Civil Procedure Act Cap 71, and Rules 3 (1) (a) and 6 (1) of the Judicature (Judicial Review) Rules, 2009)

Background

On April 28th, 2020, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development issued the Electricity (Establishment and Management of the Rural Electrification Fund) Instrument, S.I. No. 62 of 2020 revoking the Electricity (Establishment and Management of the Rural Electrification Fund) Instrument, S.I. No. 75 of 2001. The new Instrument was published in the Uganda Gazette on April 30th 2020. The Instrument, among others, provides for the continuity of the Rural Electrification Fund, the Rural Electrification Board, and the Rural Electrification Agency.

On May 12th 2020, the Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), a public interest organization in collaboration with other stakeholders applied for judicial review of the new Statutory Instrument under Miscellaneous Cause No. 91 of 2020, following robust research conducted by the Organization. The Application sought to challenge the legality of the process of making and passing S.I No. 62 of 2020, and the scope of the powers exercised by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development in making the provisions of S.I. 62 of 2020.

Judgement was delivered in favour of CEPIL against the Attorney General on September 25th, 2020 by Justice Musa Ssekaana. This court issued a declaration that the Electricity (Establishment and Management of the Rural Electrification Fund) Instrument, S.I. No. 62 of 2020 is invalid. Subsequently, the effect of granting an order of certiorari was to establish that the decision was ultra vires and set the decision aside. Certiorari is a discretionary remedy, and may be refused where the error made is not fundamental or has caused any prejudice. In this case, the statutory Instrument affected the operations and purpose of Rural Electrification Strategy and Plan 2013-2022.