The First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has allowed the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)) to appear as an ‘Intervener’ in a case filed by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) challenging the government’s decision that it pays rent for the Customs Department it operates at Entebbe International Airport.
URA challenges the above decision of paying rent to CAA as being unlawful and in contravention of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) thus directly questioning the mandate of the Applicant (CAA) that wants to intervene in support of the Attorney General (AG).
URA filed a case against the AG -reference No.11 of 2017…, challenging the legality of that decision on account that it also violates the East African Community Customs Management Act ( EACCMA).
“The Court granted leave to the Applicant (CAA)to intervene in the matter mentioned above and that its participation shall be limited to such support of the Second Respondent (Attorney General Uganda) as is propounded under Rule 36(2)(e) and (5) of the Rules. The Court further took the view that it would be in the wider interests of justice that it admits the Applicant as intervener but such intervention would be to the parameters of Rules mentioned above,” reads the statement.
According to the statement, the Attorney General persuaded the Court to allow CAA to intervene as its legal interest would be substantially affected by a contrary decision by the Court. As such, CAA is expected to intervene and present its intrinsic interests in the case.
The Court also said that the outcome of the case with or without intervention of CAA, has a direct impact on the manager of the airport. “That the remedies sought by the First Respondent (URA) have a bearing and a direct effect on the Applicant’s (UCAA) supposedly legitimate expectation of payment for use of its spaces at Entebbe International Airport,” says the statement.
The Court says that “the case arose from menacing demands for rent by the CAA from the URA, for the latter’s occupancy and use of aerodromes at Entebbe International Airport for customs purposes.
On September 4, 2017, the Attorney General of Uganda rendered a decision against URA in favour of the CAA, in a dispute as to payment of rent by the former for the occupation and use of office space at Entebbe International Airport.