Chief Justice Condemns Pro-Kayihura Demonstrations

2121 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe told journalists from his chambers in Kampala that such a raid on the courts of law is unacceptable in a country with rule of law.

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has condemned the siege on Makindye Chief Magistrates Court by people who staged a demonstration against the impending trial of the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura.

Katureebe told journalists from his chambers in Kampala that such a raid on the courts of law is unacceptable' in a country with rule of law.

He added that whoever ferried protestors to Makindye court did a disservice to the country and that it's wrong for people to threaten judicial officers as they dispense justice to Ugandans.

"What happened yesterday is unacceptable and it must not happen again. It strikes at the core of what this constitution is all about; re-establishing the rule of law in this country, let the institutions work." Katureebe said.

He added that "If one side is going to organize 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."

Katureebe questioned whether the country should be governed by the 'mobs' or 'the rule of law'.

Justice Katureebe also advised that if someone is accused of an offense, he/she should respect court and report there to explain their side of the story and that if they are dissatisfied with the decision of that court, there is always the opportunity to appeal before a higher court.

Justice Katureebe's advices came at the backdrop of Gen Kayihura's failure to appear before Makindye court yesterday along with seven of his senior officers who had been summoned to answer to torture charges for beating up Dr Kizza Besigye's supporters last month.

The case was instituted by private lawyers alleging that Gen Kayihura and his fellow officers are liable for the acts of torture committed against Joseph Kaddu, Andrew Ssebitosi, Rogers Ddiba, and other members of the general public last month.

The other wanted officers include Andrew Kaggwa, James Ruhweza, Samuel Bamuziibire, Patrick Muhumuza, Wesley Nganizi, Geoffrey Kaheebwa and Moses Nanoka.

The case stems from an attack on July 14, in which a group of police officers commanded by Kaggwa, surrounded bodaboda riders near Busaabala Road junction off Entebbe Road and ruthlessly clobbered them while they accompanied Dr Besigye who was heading to the FDC party headquarters in Najjanankumbi.

Justice Katureebe urged the police to carry out its constitutional mandate of keeping law and order and that as judicial officers, when they enter court, they should expect to find a conducive atmosphere to do their work.