Drama ensued on Friday evening at the High Court Civil Division as
the Judge who was allocated to hear the case in which city lawyer Male Mabirizi
seeks to block the recruitment of judicial officers ordered that the file goes
to Justice Musa Ssekaana.
Justice Emmanuel Baguma, the Judge who was allocated
the file, on Friday evening said that he had perused through the file and made a
number of observations.
According to Baguma, he had observed that a similar
case was filed twice by Mabirizi on different occasions and withdrawn twice
also on different occasions in May 2021 after being allocated to Ssekaana who is the
head of the Civil Division.
As such, Baguma said he didn't see any reason for withdrawing those cases and there were no minutes from Ssekaana to show why the matters were withdrawn.
Accordingly, he said he had written to the Registrar
of the Court Jamson Karemani to forward the files back to Ssekaana to avoid duplication. But Baguma found it courteous enough to read his decision to the parties since they
had showed up in court before the file went to the Registrar.
But this didn't go down well with Mabirizi who told
the Judge that it is true he had withdrawn the cases after learning that they
were at first allocated to Ssekaana and he couldn't tell him the reasons as to
why he withdrew them.
Mabirizi added that even if this third case file also
goes back to Ssekaana, he will also withdraw it because he can't dare appear
But talking to URN after court, Mabirizi said that he
can't risk appearing before Ssekaana because at one time he threatened to throw
him out of court and send him to prison.
//Cue in: “I may even…
Cue out: …my life there”. //
//Cue in: “Banzanya bubadi nti…
Cue out: …kukiliza ebintu byabwe”. //
This was in 2019 when Mabirizi and eleven opposition
leaders led by Erias Lukwago were challenging the failure by Electoral
Commission Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama to relinquish his powers as the
Court of Appeal Judge.
But the proceedings which were conducted under a tense
environment due to the nature of the language saw Justice Ssekaana refer to
Mabirizi as rubbish and since then the city lawyer has refused to ever go back
to his court saying they may fight from there.
The Attorney General's representative Jackie Amusugut
was happy with the decision of court saying that the Judge had rightly guided
The file that has been sent to Ssekaana is of a case
filed on May 21, 2021 in which Mabirizi sought an
injunction restraining the Judicial Service Commission from proceeding with the
process undertaken and decisions it has reached in shortlisting, interviewing,
appointing and recommending to the President for appointment of applicants for
He asked court to restrain the Commission, until the determination of the
main case which is challenging the legality of the process being followed to
conduct the recruitment.
On February 1 2021, the Judicial Service
Commission issued an external advert number one of 2021 in which it sought to
fill positions of a Justice of Supreme Court, Justices of Appeal, High Court
Judges, Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars, Chief Magistrates and
Magistrates Grade One.
However, according to Mabirizi, the shortlisting
was done contrary to universally known practices of shortlisting as there was
use of secretive non-verifiable method that led to a piecemeal shortlisting based on
nepotism and other corruption-related practices and some of the interviews were
scheduled to start on May 31th 2021 and
others in the month of June.