Electoral Commission lawyer, Eric Sabiiti said he got information about the adjournment at night when he had reached Masaka from his upcountry home. Clients who turned up at the Anti-Corruption Court were also stranded as the registry was locked with no judicial officer in vicinity apart from security.
Judicial services have grounded to a halt following
the president’s directive suspending non-essential business in the country. URN
visited Supreme Court, High Court, Anti-Corruption Court and War Crimes
Division and found them under lock and key.
All judgments and rulings that were scheduled
for delivery at the Supreme Court today have been halted until further notice.
Our reporter saw a communication sent by the Supreme Court Deputy Registrar, Lawrence
Tweyanze to security via Whatsapp stating that the Presidential Directive was
self-explanatory and had thus affected court business.
He explained that another date would be communicated
for delivery of the judgments. Key among the rulings that had been scheduled
relates to the ejection of six Members of Parliament from newly created
municipalities from parliament who wanted a stay of execution of the
Constitutional Court decision until the appeal challenging the same is
Electoral Commission lawyer, Eric Sabiiti said he got information
about the adjournment at night when he had reached Masaka from his upcountry
home. Clients who turned up at the Anti-Corruption Court were also stranded as
the registry was locked with no judicial officer in vicinity apart
One of the police officers was seen busy
fetching water to ensure that whoever wants to access the court premises first
washes their hands. Until Monday, court business was moving on smoothly
in line with the directives from the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe issued on
March 19th, 2020.
Katureebe had stopped all court hearings and
public appearances for 32 days and clarified that courts would continue to
attend to urgent civil matters, take plea for serious criminal offenses and
bail applications. Consequently, the Constitutional Court, Buganda
Road and Rubaga Magistrate’s court remained operational.
The Judiciary Spokesperson, Solomon Muyita
told URN that they were equally affected by the presidential directive since
the Judiciary wasn’t listed among the essential services. He however,
said the Chief Justice has sought guidance from the Prime Minister and will
communicate to the public one he gets feedback.
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On Monday night, President Museveni for the sixth time in a
space of two weeks addressed the nation on more drastic measures the country
needs to take to cab the spread of the corona virus pandemic thereby halting
all non-essential movements and businesses. Museveni has since advised
those with emergency cases to contact their respective Resident District
Commissioners for permission to travel.