Justice Henry I. Kawesa defines what amounts to contempt of Court in the case of Joseph Mutaawe V Luyinda Martine & 2 Others Ma N0 2026 Of 2018:

The case discusses what constitutes contempt of court and the available remedies. This motion arises from section 33 of the Judicature Act cap 13, section 98 of the Civil Procedure Act 71 and O.52 rr1&3 of the Civil Procedure Rules SI 71-1.

This case was arising from civil suit no 130 of 2005. In this suit court made a declaration on the 15th day of September of 2017 that the Respondents, being Administrators of the estate of the late Kaleb Malwadde, were entitled to be registered as proprietors on the suit land. Court also decreed that upon their registration, the respondents had a duty to enable the applicant and Eseza Katende to acquire the land they respectively bought from the deceased.

 However, the respondents did not comply with the court order. It is on this basis that the applicants appealed to the court of Appeal.

The Issues before court was whether the respondents were liable for contempt of court.

Hon Mr. Justice Henry I. Kawesa was in agreement with the definition of contempt of court presented by the applicants to mean the disobedience of the rules or orders of a judicial body. He further listed its elements to include existence of a lawful order, the potential contemnor’s knowledge of the order, the potential contemnor’s ability to comply and the potential contemnor’s failure to comply.

In this case, the respondents were aware of the judgement originating from the prior suit since it was delivered in their presence and had obtained copies of the decree however, they had despite several reminders refused to comply with the decree by signing transfer papers to third parties. Hence they were found to be in contempt of Court.

The learned justice also discussed the available remedies for contempt of court to include: damages in case the applicant suffered a damage, imprisonment and fines. This judgement was given on the 17th day of June 2019 by the Hon. Mr. Justice Henry I. Kawesa.