Court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Sanula Nambozo on Friday halted the proceedings and forwarded the file to the Constitutional Court as requested by Mabirizi for its interpretation.
Male Mabirizi ( right ) being guarded by Prison Officers in Court.
Road Grade One Magistrates Court has halted the proceedings in which City Lawyer
Male Mabirizi is accused of offensive communication until further notice.
Court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Sanula Nambozo on Friday halted the
proceedings and forwarded the file to the Constitutional Court as requested by Mabirizi
for its interpretation.
The issues that will be interpreted are whether an order can be made against the
Uganda Prisons Services in a criminal matter without filing a civil matter or Human Rights Enforcement case through which the Prisons would
be represented in court by the Attorney General.
Proceedings that have been halted arise from the privately instituted
charges by lawyer Robert Rutaro Muhairwe accusing Mabirizi of using his
social media platforms to abuse Civil Division Judge Musa Ssekaana.
In February 2022, Rutaro filed criminal charges against Mabirizi
arguing that he made posts that were meant to reduce Ssekaana’s
self-esteem and to embarrass him in front of the right-thinking members of
Muhairwe asked the court to convict Mabirizi and send him to prison on charges
of offensive communication, criminal libel, and offenses prejudicial to
But in April, Mabirizi who is currently at Luzira Upper Prison serving 18
months sentence handed to him for contempt of Court by Ssekaana asked to
be transferred from there saying that he had been removed from Kitalya without
prior notice yet he had left there his food for ten days.
Mabirizi also said he had not been in a proper mind of state due to hunger and had
reportedly suffered at Luzira where he had spent two days at that
time without meals.
But the State Attorney Joan Keko opposed the transfer saying that Mabirizi's
prayer was arising from a civil matter and she advised that he takes it to the
High Court to enable Uganda Prisons Services to be represented by the Attorney
The prosecutor indicated that, in relation to the case against Mabirizi at the
moment, the State is not concerned about his place of residence because they
know he has not yet been charged or remanded in relation to the charges
instituted by Rutaro.
As a result, Magistrate Nambozo on April 14th, 2022 agreed with
the Prosecutor and said that the Prisons had not been represented in court.
She added that the law requires that a person aggrieved by the
actions of a government department or agency can always file a case against the
Attorney General in the High Court.
asked the Magistrate to forward the file to the Constitutional Court for
it to interpret whether an order made against the Uganda Prisons Services
in a criminal matter without filing a civil or Human Rights Enforcement case is
inconsistent with several constitutional provisions.
On the same day, Mabirizi asked Court to direct the Officer in Charge of Luzira
Prison to provide him with a Wall Clock, a mattress, bedsheets, and a
mosquito net for his own safety and better health arguing that he
is sleeping in a hall made out iron bars and that mosquitoes have
eaten almost every part of his body.
However, Court dismissed the request for him to direct the Prisons OC to provide him beddings
in prison on grounds that the court cannot compel the OC to provide what
he doesn't have in his possession. Court added that the Prisons Act
provides that Mabirizi can use private ways to get them and it is the Prisons
that will examine if what he has brought is acceptable in prisons.