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April 14, 2024
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Civil Division Court Judge rejects request to hear case of NUP detained supporters

The High Court in Kampala has rejected the request to hear the case of 74 National Unity Platform supporters who were arrested during the lockdown, following a petition demanding for the unconditional release of the Supporters who were arrested in the just concluded elections.

Amidst the pandemic and the lockdown, Civil Division Judge Boniface Wamala rejected the request, stating that the matter will be handled any time at the discretion of the Judge to who the file will be allocated.

In his ruling, Justice Boniface Wamala has rejected the application for urgency to hear the case involving James Mubiru the jailed Rubaga North Lord Councillor, and other 73 National Unity Platform supporters who were arrested last year.

“That the subject individual has not been served since March 2021 raises legal issues, but am also aware that many other Ugandans have not been tried expeditiously owing to the fact that courts have been slow mainly because of the effects of the covid-19 pandemic,”

Wamala said.

“If this court were to declare the case of each such Ugandan urgent for purposes of hearing during the lockdown, judges would be overwhelmed and the space reserved for real urgent cases would be chocked,” he added.

The lawyers argued that it is now more than 120 days since the 74 people were arrested and that the law provides that they can be released unconditionally from their detention if the trial has not commenced within that time.

According to Justice Wamala, if courts were to be opened for hearing of such cases given that there is limited manpower operating at 10 per cent, they would be overwhelmed, concerns that NUP lawyer Anthony Wameli Rejected.

“Irrespective, I do not agree with the judge. My opinion is you can not fear influx on the court. You should actually be ready as a court to receive more cases and urgent cases for that matter as longs as violations are going on. In fact, it should have been a signal to the Attorney General and the other respondents that what they are doing is what causes more cases to come to court.”

The Judge dismissed the request adding that the matter will be handled any time at the discretion of the Judge who will be allocated to handle the matter.

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