Mabirizi wants to be released pending the determination of his intended appeal against the decision to convict and sentence him to 18 months in jail for contempt of Court.
Male Mabirizi in Court.
The Court of
Appeal in Kampala will deliver on notice its decision in which jailed City
lawyer Male Mabirizi wants to gain temporary freedom from Luzira Maximum Upper-security prison.
Mabirizi who filed 12 different applications seeking the restoration of his
freedom wants to be released pending the determination of his intended
appeal against the decision to convict and sentence him to 18 months
in jail for contempt of Court.
On February 15th, 2022, High Court Civil Division Judge Musa Ssekaana
found Mabirizi guilty of contempt of court, saying he had continued to use his
social media platforms to attack judicial officers.
Ssekaana argued that this was in contempt of another order that he had made on
January 27 2022 directing Mabirizi to pay a fine of 300 Million Shillings
the first time he was found guilty for attacking Civil Division Judge Phillip
Odoki, and issued a strong warning against him to desist from attacking
According to the evidence before the Court, the posts were made after Odoki had
dismissed Mabirizi’s application that sought to restrain Capital Markets
Authority- CMA from extending the MTN Initial Public Offer -IPO window and
listing their shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange on grounds that the
company was not well incorporated in the country.
But after being convicted, Mabirizi on March 1 2022 filed an application
in the Court of Appeal seeking to be released temporarily on grounds that
he filed a notice of appeal challenging Ssekaana's decision and that the intended
appeal has a higher and reasonable chance of success.
According to Mabirizi, there are serious matters of the law relating to a fair hearing,
the scope of contempt of court, and the legality of the 18 months’ imprisonment.
that an order of a strong warning cannot be enforced since it doesn't require
positive action, like arresting someone and sending them to prison.
Mabirizi also contends that on February 25 2022 the Court of Appeal Justice
Christopher Izama Madrama stayed the execution of the 300 million shillings
fine and declined to stay his imprisonment on the basis that he needed to file
another appeal and that he has since filed a notice of appeal against the
February 15th decision and requested to be given proceedings.
therefore in the interest of justice, equity and transparency want to be
released until the determination of his intended appeal so as to preserve the
rule of law.
matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal Justices comprised
of Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi, Lady Justices Irene Mulyagonja, and Eva
Luswata informed the parties that the ruling will be on notice.
General who was represented by Principal State Attorney Richard Adrole has
already filed written submissions asking the court to dismiss Mabirizi's applications
and maintain the sentence.
Mabirizi started when the Attorney General informed Justice Ssekaana that
Mabirizi had made posts on social media where he accused him
(Ssekaana ) of being biased, incompetent, and not able to head the smallest
court of a family, and one who doesn't qualify for any award from
Uganda Law Society and even for a Grade Two Magistrate.
The Attorney General also informed Court that the rest of the posts were
crafted in a vulgarized language and that Mabirizi had described a
fine of 300 million shillings that was issued against him by Ssekaana in
January for contempt of Court as null and void which statement
government said was an attack on the judiciary.