Kampala, Uganda | URN | City lawyer Male Mabirizi was blocked from accessing the Supreme Court in Kololo where he had gone to receive a ruling arising from the presidential election petition filed by presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.
Mabirizi was expected to receive the ruling by Justice Dr Esther Kisakye on her decision on his application that sought orders seeking to set aside the ruling by the panel of nine Supreme Court Justices on the application for Kyagulanyi requesting to amend his petition.
Following the dismissal of Kyagulanyi’s application seeking more time to amend his petition, Mabirizi filed an application seeking for the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo to step aside from presiding over the proceedings for having been Mr Museveni’s lawyer.
Mr Museveni had been listed as the first respondent to Mr Kyagulanyi’s petition.
In the same application, Mabirizi asked the Justices to set aside their decision to dismiss Kyagulanyi’s application for amendment on grounds that they had been presided over by Owiny-Dollo whom he accused of bias.
The rest of the Judges delivered their rulings on Thursday upholding their decision to dismiss Kyagulanyi’s application. But Kisakye whose file was reportedly confiscated on orders of Owiny-Dollo did not deliver her ruling on Mabirizi’s application yesterday as expected.
Kisakye adjourned Court for today at 11 am with hopes that she would have obtained her file or got a draft copy to read to Mabirizi in court. But when Mabirizi reached Supreme Court at the said time, its gates were closed. He together with journalists were blocked from accessing the Supreme Court building which also houses the East African Court of Justice by the Counter Terrorism court orderly officers manning security at the entrance.
Under the circumstances, Mabirizi chose to sit down on the road reserve calling people he thought were in charge of the deployment at court but didn’t find any answer.
Mabirizi said he had three issues that had brought him to the Supreme court building; serving the Justices letters of complaints against them before the Judicial Service Commission, filing more documents to his case before the East African Court of Justice and receiving his ruling. But he has not succeeded.
Shortly, Lady Justice Kisakye who had also been inside the closed Supreme Court exited the gate and addressed journalists standing near the road on what was happening.
She said the unconstitutional events that started unfolding yesterday have continued to date.
According to Kisakye, when she arrived today, she found the tent where they have been operating as a court dismantled. She then asked officials in charge of preparing the court room to organize for her another place which they did.
But she narrates that she waited for Mabirizi for two hours in vain only to receive a call from one of the journalists saying that they had been blocked.
The most Senior Judge of the Supreme Court also added that she inquired from the registrar on who had blocked Mabirizi from getting his ruling but she was told she wasn’t party to the orders.
She also said she inquired from the police officers as to why the gates were closed from the public when it is not a public holiday but in vain.
In her eleven minutes interaction with the press, Kisakye said she was surprised that someone had ordered for the unprecedented closure of the Supreme Court when the Chief Justice of Uganda is in residence but has done nothing about its unconstitutionality.
She says that this situation is continuing because there is a plot to gag her from reading her ruling, which is unconstitutional.
Kisakye has also complained about the spokesperson of the Judiciary Solomon Muyita for speaking to the media about her name in this issue without even talking to her which created a wrong impression. As such, she noted that since Muyita has proved to be inclined to speak from an uninformed point of view, from now she will be talking to the press directly about the positions she holds.
She added that she will read her ruling any time next week. Asked why she cannot send it via email, Kisakye said that she took a decision to read it in open court and there is no constitutional reason for blocking a litigant from accessing court.
But when we contacted Solomon Muyita for a comment on the allegations, he said he was first seeking guidance and was to get back to this journalist later.