IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA HOLDEN AT KAMPALA
FAMILY CAUSE NO. 125 OF 2009
IN THE MATTER OF TUMUSIME RONALD WILLIAMS (INFANT)
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT AS LEGAL GUARDIANS OF TUMUSIME RONALD WILLIAMS (AGED 7 MONTHS) BY MARTIN DUFFY AND KATHRYN E DUFFY
BEFORE: HON LADY JUSTICE MARGARET C. OUMO OGULI
That cost of the application be provided for.
The grounds of the application are:-
That the whereabouts of the infant’s parents are not known.
That the infant is under the care and custody of Sanyu Babies’ Home.
That the applicants wish to provide the infant with a home, parental love and care.
That this application is for the welfare and benefit of the infant.
The High Court has unlimited original jurisdiction in all matters.
See: Article 139(1) of the Constitution of Uganda, 1995.
The Judicature Act in Section 14 on similar terms grants the High court similar jurisdiction.
In the exercise of its jurisdiction, the High court has powers to make orders absolutely or on such terms as it thinks fit.
See : Section 33 of the Judicature Act.
A child has been defined as any person below 18 years of age, according to section 2 of the Children Act Cap 59.
The infant here is 1 year and 10 months old according to a letter from the Principal Medical Social worker, Mulago hospital attached as Annexture “D” to Barbra Nankya’s affidavit on the court file and is therefore a child within the meaning of the Act.
In making any decision concerning a child, the welfare of the child is of paramount consideration.
See: Section 3 and paragraph 1(b) of the first Schedule to the Children Act.
Mr. Nyombi, counsel for the applicants, submitted that this application is for the welfare and benefit of the said infant because of the following reasons:-
The child was looking malnourished.
The where about of the parents are unknown.
The child is in the care of an institution and;
The applicants’ family is willing to provide a home, parental care and a loving environment for the child to grow up in.
In view of the above, court is of the view that the application if granted will be for the welfare and in the best interests of the child as it will give him the opportunity to grow up in a home with parents instead of an institution.
The second issue is whether the applicants are suitable guardians for the child?
Mr. Nyombi, counsel for the applicants submitted that the applicants are American citizens and notarized copies of the relevant pages
of their passports and birth certificates are attached to their respective, Statutory Declarations as Annextures “A” and “B”.
Martin Duffy is employed as a Director of Professional Services for Big Machines and a notarized copy reference letter from his employer is attached to his Statutory Declaration as Annexture “B”. He is therefore in a position to provide financial assistance and take care of the needs of the child.
The wife, Kathryn is a full time home maker and both do not have a child. They will therefore be in a position to attend to the emotional and psychological needs of the child.
The applicants have no criminal record as evidenced by the Criminal Clearance Certificate attached to their Statutory Declarations as Annextures “D” and “C” respectively. Mr. Nyombi contended that both applicants have never been convicted of child abuse. See copies of their clearance certificates attached as Annextures “E” and “D” to their Statutory Declarations respectively.
Counsel for the applicants submitted that both the applicants are physically and mentally healthy. Health certificates to that effect
are attached to their respective Statutory Declarations as Annexture ”F” and “E”.
The Administrator, Sanyu babies’ Home, Ms Babra Nankya, has recommended the applicants as legal guardians as per paragraph 15 of her affidavit
In view of the above, court is of the view that the applicants are suitable guardians for the child.
Consequently, the application is allowed in the following terms and conditions:-
report, every one year, with the Registrar Family Division – High Court of Uganda, regarding the state of the welfare of the child and to do so until the child is 18 years of age or until directed otherwise.
Ms.Dora Mirembe-Counsel for the applicants
Mr. Martin Duffy-2nd applicant
Nalongo Nadaula-Court Clerk
Nyakwebara Elizabeth-Research Assistant