Police has no powers to summon judges over court judgements

By Sania Babirye

The Judiciary says the Uganda police has no powers to summon a magistrate in regard to a judgement she made over a court case.

The judiciary was responding to an article in one of the local news paper on the 11th February 2020 titled: “Magistrate summoned over controversial land eviction order”.

The newspaper article refers to a Police investigation relating to an alleged illegal eviction and malicious damage to property arising from Civil Suit in the Hoima Chief Magistrates’ Court.

According to the summon, the magistrate was needed to record a statement in relation to the investigations.

However, the acting Chief Registrar, Tom Chemutai, has since advised the Director Criminal Investigations that it is irregular for the Police to summon a Magistrate over a court decision.

“The Police cannot summon Judicial Officers to explain how they handle court cases but can only seek clarification from court ”

The chief registrar further says that the constitution gives the judiciary independence and not subjected to the control or
direction of any person or authority.

Chemutai however, has advised anyone dissatisfied with any court decision to appeal to a higher court including
the Inspectorate of Courts, the Chief Registrar, or Judicial Service Commission for
proper investigations to be conducted and appropriate action taken.

PAC discovers loopholes in the judiciary

By Alice Lubwama
The public Accounts committee has unearthed a new rot into the Judiciary over none refund of bail money to the suspects.

The committee chaired by Budadiri west MP Nandala Mafabi first tasked the judiciary officials led by the permanent secretary Kagole Kivumbi to explain the where about of 14 billion shillings bail money that was meant to be paid out to suspects after their cases had been disposed off by courts.

The Judiciary submitted records indicating that 5.3Bn shillings was collected in bail during the financial year 2017/2018 but the statements showed that only 1.3Bn was declared to the consolidated fund.

Kagole however told the Committee for one to get this money has to produce the receipt but by the time the court process is completed many of them do not have them.

Judiciary investigates registrar for assaulting journalist

By Sania Babirye

The judiciary has launched an investigation in which one of its member is accused of assaulting journalists.

According to a press release by the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Esta Nambayo, the Inspector of Courts has been tasked to investigate reports that the acting registrar (Planning and Development),Fred Waninda, assaulted some television journalists.

The Inspectorate has been ordered to investigate the matter and present its findings within seven days for further management.

This follows after the chief registrar received media reports that the Ag. Registrar Waninda, assaulted journalists on the 25th of April 2019 at the Commercial Court for a land grabbing case.

The Inspectorate of Courts is mandated to receive and investigate complaints of maladministration of justice against any staff of the Judiciary and all cadres of judicial officers.

Bamugemereire moves to smoothen relations with judiciary

By Sania Babirye
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has denied allegations that their is bad blood between her and the judiciary.

Justice Bamugemereire is currently heading the seven member land probe commission which is investigating land wrangles among other land issues in the country.

Today, Justice Bamugemereire held a meeting with the judiciary officials including chief Justice Bart Katureebe, deputy chief justice Alifonse Owiny Dolo, chief court registrar Ester Nambayo and Principle Judge Yorakamu Bamwine at the high court headquarters in Kampala over the matter .

After the meeting Justice Bamugemereire spoke to the press said that it was important to have a mutual structure and creative way of discussing any issues that arise in away that creates understanding between the commission and the judiciary.

She further explained that the structure should ease tension, promote dialogue and ease any discomfort between the judiciary and the commission.

In October 2018, Justice Bamugemereire accused some judges of conniving with land grabbers to evict bibanjja holders by judges giving what she termed as bogus judgements in a move to abuse criminal justice due to massive corruption in the judiciary .

However Justice Bamugemereire’s statement was criticized by the judiciary including the chief justice.

Judiciary celebrates first Chief Justice Ben Kiwanuka

By Robert Segawa

The deputy chief justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo has described the Late Benedict Kiwanuka, former chief justice as principled, fearless,  and uncomplicated defender of the rule of law and justice.

While speaking at the first memorial lecture in honor of the Uganda’s first chief justice Benedict Kiwanuka at High court presided over by vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.

Justice Owiny Dollo has said the judiciary hold former chief justice Kiwanuka in high esteem, and will hold dear the values he died for.

The late Kiwanuka was 21st September 1971 dragged out from his Chambers at high court Kampala by Idi Amin soldiers and his body has never been seen again.

The memorial attended by the judiciary and members of legal fraternity started with procession of all justices and magistrate at the Chambers and offices of late chief justice from where he was kidnapped by soldiers.

Judiciary mourns Lady Justice Jesca Naiga Ayebazibwe

By Robert Segawa

The judiciary is mourning the abrupt death of lady justice Jesca Naiga Ayebazibwe.

The late Naiga was been based on high court family division in Makindye passed on last night from her home in Ndeeba.

Her death  has been confirmed by the judiciary communications officer Solom Mwita who was described the incident as a great blow to the judiciary.

Mwita says the meeting is to be held with family members this morning to pave way for burial arrangement.

Trump throws out Attorney General Yates over executive order on immigration

President Donald Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday night after she directed Justice Department lawyers not to defend his executive order on immigration.

The Trump administration said it had “relieved” Yates — who was deputy attorney general in the administration of President Barack Obama and stayed on as acting attorney general pending the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama — and named Dana Boente, 63, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve in the meantime.

The Justice Department said shortly after midnight ET that Boente had rescinded Yates’ directive.

Boente was sworn in at 9 p.m. ET, said Michael Short, a senior assistant White House press secretary — a swift reaction to Yates’ memo to Justice Department lawyers earlier in the day, ordering them not to go to court to defend sharp restrictions Trump ordered last week on immigration from seven majority Muslim countries.

Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House said in a statement, adding: “Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”