July 30, 2021

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The Territorial Police at Jinja Road have started investigating circumstances under which an accused person Luzinda Cylus Sale, on a case which is under hearing in the Anti Corruption Court Kololo Kampala managed to access court premises while armed, which is against security protocols in all courts.
According to one of the witnesses who was in court for the hearing on a matter in which Luzinda was the accused, the suspect managed to gain access to the witnesses in the matter he is accused of receiving stolen property and started threatening of causing harm to them . However, the witness rushed out of court and informed the police, which came in and disamerd him.
The recovered gun is a star pistol and contained 13 rounds of ammunitions.
The gun has been exhibited.
The task team at Jinja Road Police Station will further establish whether the the suspect had an operation license for the firearm or not.
The gun will also be forwarded for further forensic analysis to also establish whether it was electronically registered  during the ongoing exercise of electronic registration of firearms and whether it has ever been used in any crime.
The police have also taken action against the court orderlies, who were supposed to ensure that every person is effectively searched from head to toe, for failure to carry out their duties.
The court has also decided to cancel the bail of Luzinda.
He is to be forwarded to Kitalya Prisons.
We have also opened another offence against him of threatening violence and attempted murder.

JUDGES CANT HOLD TWO OFFICES-CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES

 

The late Bob Kasango has won a petition he filed at the Constitutional Court challenging the appointment of Justice Mike Chibita as the Director of Public Prosecutions without resigning his job as a judge.

In 2016, Kasango dragged the DPP and the Attorney General to the Constitutional Court arguing that it was illegal, unconstitutional and causes a fusion between the executive and judiciary on top of undermining the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution for judges to be appointed to other government positions without first resigning as judges.

In the lead judgment by Justice Kenneth Kakuru, on behalf of a panel of other justices including Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Cheborion Barishaki, Stephen Musota and Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi, the Constitutional Court ruled that it is illegal for a judge to be appointed to any executive or constitutional office and that assuming the position without first resigning as judges is illegal.

“I would like to observe that judges and justices are still being assigned and or appointed to various executive and constitutional offices. The relevant authorities, especially the Judicial Service Commission must ensure that before a judge or justice takes up another appointment, he or she first resigns,” Justice Kakuru ruled.

“Judicial officers as custodians of justice must comply with this constitutional requirement. They must not be seen to be contravening the very constitution they took oath to uphold while requiring others to uphold it. Consequently, any appointment of a judicial officer to any executive or constitutional office prior to his or her resignation from the judiciary shall be null and void and his or her actions will be null and void.”

The judgment means that Justice Jane Frances Abodo, the current Director of Public Prosecutions and the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama ought to resign as judges of the High Court so as to continue serving in their current respective positions in which they were appointed by President Museveni.

However, the judges of the Constitutional Court ruled that the investigations, arrest and prosecution of the deceased lawyer, Bob Kasango while Justice Mike Chibita held the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions didn’t contravene any provisions of the Constitution.

Lady Justice Dr Esther Kisakye. 

 

Justice Esther Kisakye of the Supreme Court has disagreed with eight Justices in their decision on two applications arising from the presidential election petition filed by former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.

Kyagulanyi petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge President Museveni’s victory in the presidential elections. At the start of the petition hearing, Kyagulanyi first filed an application seeking to be given more time to amend his petition and introduce new grounds. He filed another seeking to file additional affidavits and another seeking to withdraw the whole petition.

Kyagulanyi argued that there were unusual circumstances including the fact that his lawyers were operating mobile law firms due to insecurity and fears that state operatives may steal the evidence. He also argued that state operatives seized their political party offices which made it difficult for him to file relevant affidavits and evidence in support of his petition on time.

On Thursday, the two applications were dismissed by the eight Justices led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo on grounds that a presidential election petition cannot be amended due to its strict timelines within which it should be determined.

However, in her dissenting judgement read to Kyagulanyi’s lawyers, Justice Kisakye said that the reasons advanced by Kyagulanyi were more than unusual circumstances and therefore his applications should have all been allowed. She noted that it was not right for the Attorney General to argue the way he did on the strict timelines because the issue of amending petitions has happened before in the presidential election petition of Amama Mbabazi and therefore it cannot be unlawful.

 
 
 
 

She added that although the extension to file additional evidence was going to have an impact on the roadmap of court, the respondents who were the majority opted to ignore the fact that those provisions were enacted and the constitution amended.

But to Kisakye, whereas the law says that the matter should be determined within 45 days from the date of filing, this requirement didn’t impose on the Supreme Court the duty to ignore the unconstitutional and unlawful acts as declared by the High Court to the detriment of Kyagulanyi.

“The restrictions on the movements of the applicant as pleaded in his affidavit and as confirmed by High Court more than constituted the special circumstances which were envisaged under rule 17 of the Presidential Election Rules,” she said. Kisakye added the rest of the Justices should have allowed the applicant to file additional evidence which was ready on the morning of February 15, 2021, when the deadline was on February 14th 2021.

Court heard that the fact that the evidence was ready by February 14 and the country is under curfew, coupled with the siege of NUP offices, the shutdown of the internet for five days and Kyagulanyi’s house arrest, it was impossible that the time was sufficient for him to do all that was required.

She added that there is a principle that the mistake made by the lawyers should not be blamed on his client like the majority of the Justices did yet Kyagulanyi had already lost ten of the fifteen days.

 
 

“The applicant’s counsel was not able to deliver all the evidence in the time prescribed for a variety of reasons some of which were submitted on by counsel Sseggona. By the majority attributing the mistakes of counsel to the client, the court was reversing its decisions without giving reasons,” said Kisakye.

On the issue of Kyagulanyi’s witnesses being arrested by the state, Justice Kisakye dismissed the arguments by the respondents saying that he should have brought evidence of the list on who was arrested and taken where and by who.

She noted that the argument lacked merit because Kyagulanyi knew who exactly was his witnesses and where they were and that the respondents were talking about matters that they didn’t know about.

“The first respondent is the incumbent president, He has been in power for 35 years with an established party structure which is in place and which has not suffered any disruptions or closures as were suffered by the applicant’s party at the expense of the state organs,” said Kisakye.

According to her, the Electoral Commission and Attorney General also have nationwide offices throughout the country and it didn’t make any sense when they said that Kyagulanyi’s witnesses should have been in Kampala for them to file their responses to additional evidence he wanted to file.

Since the application for the withdrawal was consented to, Kisakye said she was not going to say much about it. She noted that what Kyagulanyi went through was unconstitutional and in the interest of justice and fairness, Museveni, Electoral Commission and Attorney General shouldn’t have asked for costs.

Supreme Court okays withdrawal of Kyagulanyi’s presidential election petition

Court of Appeal to Handle 48 Civil Matters in Three Weeks

Supreme Court okays withdrawal of Kyagulanyi’s presidential election petition

Commercial Justice

February 17, 2021

The rule of law regulates economic activity, defines and affirms rights and obligations, therefore clarifying to investors the laws and institutional environment for doing business. Efficient and effective justice delivery is therefore fundamental for poverty reduction and inclusive growth.  Aware of the gains made during SIP I under the commercial justice reform program, and recognizing that under SIPII and III little effort was undertaken to leverage the gains under commercial justice, there was either stagnation or reversal of some of the gains. The Sector under SDP IV will implement the following strategic interventions to provide an enabling environment for productive activity, investment, and competitiveness. 

Strategic interventions:  

Reform and update laws to promote competitiveness and regional integration  

The Sector will review the legal framework for commercial justice and identify areas for law reform and development to address the needs of new, emerging, and changing areas of commercial business and practice. This will be aimed at providing a robust and supporting legal and policy framework for the growth and operation of new industries and business models as well as those areas that have been introduced to support Uganda’s interventions in regional integration.  

Strategies

a) Propose legislation in new and emerging areas of commercial justice 

b) Consolidate and make available all commercial laws

c) Simplify procedures 

d) Enforce existing commercial laws  

Strengthen business registries (URSB, DCIC, NIRA, NGO Bureau)  

Strategies will be implemented to enhance the efficiency of all the business registries, including measures to support integration for better communication between the various registries. This is intended to promote their effectiveness and the ability to adequately monitor and track the performance of various entities in order to provide them with appropriate support services. The Sector will further work towards greater automation to provide a customer-oriented service that promotes more efficient growth and operation of businesses. 

Strategies: 

a) Retooling and equipping 

b) Records management

c) Staff training and placement

d) Stakeholder sensitization 

 

Strengthen commercial and land dispute resolution processes and institutions 

Reforms in the area of commercial justice under SIP I and II placed the commercial justice institutions at the cutting edge of innovations in the region. Under the SDP IV the Sector will revive its efforts to build the Commercial Court as a Centre for Excellence in dispute resolution and will also strengthen the capacity and operations of the other commercial justice institutions to provide fast and effective dispute resolution in all the specialized areas and in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution. 

Land justice disputes continue to take up a large proportion of the load in terms of case backlog in the civil arena and have been noted to contribute to several criminal matters, including murders, arsons, assaults, and trespass. The delay in disposal of this matter also means that vast assets a tied up in litigation for prolonged periods and therefore hinder economic development processes. Strategies will be employed to give particular attention to the disposal of land matters and to strengthen the institutions that are specialized in this field. 

 

Strategies:

a) Case management systems 

b) Roll out initiatives such as mediation, small claims, and land courts 

c) Review rules and procedures that cause delays

d) Review business processes 

e) Build capacity of duty bearers in commercial and Land justice and labor dispute resolution

Museveni backs calls for magistrates at sub-counties

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