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Supreme Court Tightens COVID-19 Preventive Measures

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Although the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe had indicated that not more than 10 people should be allowed during such court sessions, at least 36 seats were reserved in the court room.
Lawyer for Electoral Commission Eric Sabiiti, Constitutional Law don Wandera Ogalo and Ben Wacha waiting for the court to start.
There was strict observance of COVID-19 preventive measures at the Supreme Court this morning as judges convened to deliver judgment on an application for stay of execution of a Constitutional Court decision annulling the election of six legislators from new municipalities.

Those who turned up to hear the judgment had to sanitize their hands thrice and their body temperature was taken before they were allowed in the courtroom. A group of staff led by the Registrar, Lawrence Tweyanze disinfected the courtroom before the session started. 

The benches were marked with white papers labelled X meaning that they were not meant for use to ensure social distancing. Only two people were allowed to occupy the benches, which usually host four people. Although the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe had indicated that not more than 10 people should be allowed during such court sessions, at least 36 seats were reserved in the courtroom. 

This excluded the 12 seats that were reserved for the lawyers of the parties to the suit. These were also spaced to allow for social distancing.

Later in their verdict, the justices stayed the execution of a Constitutional Court judgment annulling the election of legislators. The legislators are Patrick Ocan from Apac Municipality, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye- Sheema Municipality, Tarsis Rwaburindore Bishanga-Ibanda Municipality, Hashim Sulaiman-Nebbi Municipality, Abrahams Lokii-Kotido Municipality and their Bugiri municipality counterpart, Asuman Basalirwa.

The panel of justices in the matter included Mike Chibita, Stella Arach, Professor Lillian Tibatemwa, Richard Buteera, Opio Aweri, Paul Mugamba and Dr. Esther Kisakye. All the other parties in the court room including lawyers, petitioners and journalists wore face masks.