KAMPALA – Government has on Tuesday August 6, castigated the attack on judicial officers and the courts of law saying that such acts cannot be tolerated in a sane democratic society.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire condemned the ugly occurrences that occurred in court recently. He was referring to an attack on a judicial officer who was hit by a plastic bottle while performing her duties.
He said that the acts are barbaric, regrettable and should have no place in the modern and democratic Uganda today or in the future, these are reminiscent of dark ages.
“We shall support all efforts of the judiciary to make sure that all judicial officers are free and feel safe and are under no intimidation or any sort of influence whatsoever while performing their duties and to make sure that the integrity and independence of temples of justice is maintained. The security of the judicial officers shall be enhanced,” Gen. Otafiire said.
The minister’s remarks come hardly a week after a violent incident at Buganda Road Magistrates Court during the sentencing of Makerere University Research Fellow, Dr Stella Nyanzi who was charged with an offence of cyber harassment when a court attendant hit the presiding magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu in face with a bottle.
The court attendants turned rowdy leading to vandalizing of various property which the minister said would cost tax payer a lot of money to replace.
Speaking at the press conference at the media center, Gen. Otafiire warned that those found responsible for the hooliganism or barbaric acts of attacking the judicial officer and vandalizing court property shall be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law.
“Acts of violence such as that we saw in the court last week, through the noise made during the court session and pelting of a bottle at the magistrate should not be tolerated anywhere near our temples of justice,” said the minister.
Gen. Otafiire blamed the violent incident on some sections of society including political party leaders and others who want to advance their cause through unaccepted means under the guise of exercising their constitutional right of freedom of speech and association.
Six people, all supporters of the opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) were on Monday charged with inciting violence and were subsequently remanded to Luzira Prison until August 16.