KAMPALA–The Judiciary has condemned Wednesday’s attack on Court by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s supporters.
In a statement issued Thursday evening, the Judiciary’s Chief Registrar, Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa, has expressed concern over the increased cases of interference in the judicial process.
“On Wednesday (January 3), a group of protesters donned in yellow shirts stormed the High Court’s Civil Division in Kampala protesting the subjecting of Speaker Kadaga to a court process. The actions of such groups are an unwarranted direct affront on the independence of the Judiciary which is protected by the Constitution, according to the Judiciary’s Chief Registrar, Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa,” the statement notes.
It further reads that Under Article 128 of the Constitution, no person or authority shall interfere with the courts or judicial officers in the exercise of their judicial functions.
“It strikes at the core of what the Constitution is all about – re-establishing the rule of law in this country,” said Gadenya.
Gadenya reminded the public that Judiciary is an arm of the State with the mandate to adjudicate cases between citizens and government as well as other agencies.
“Let the institutions work. It’s really wrong for people to go and mobilise mobs to come and frighten us to prevent us from doing our work. Whoever is promoting them is really doing a disservice to the country,” Gadenya said.
He said the acts point to a possible derailment.
“If one side is going to organise mobs to prevent the courts from doing their job, to prevent lawyers from presenting the cases of their clients, then there is something fundamentally wrong and we must address it as a country and as citizens. This applies to all litigants across the divide.”
The Judiciary conducts hearings in the open court where the public can follow proceedings.
“We find it callous for litigants to organise crowds to try and undermine judicial independence. If we want to be governed by the rule of law, then we must allow institutions to operate and that is why the Constitution provides for the courts. The Judiciary regrets such uncivilised and disrespectful behaviour,” Gadenya said.
It ought to be remembered that there was a similar attack on court in August 2016 when an angry mob protesting the trial of the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura over accusations of torture against civilians, laid a siege on Makindye Magistrate’s Court, threatening the lawyers and other court users, among other protests at court premises.