Aciro was arrested at the beginning of April, together with 19 others, with whom they were jointly charged and convicted for disobeying lawful orders. They reportedly defied the night-time curfew imposed by the government to control the movement of people beyond 7 p.m. as the country battled a disease that has paralyzed the entire world.
The High Court in Kampala has
quashed a three months’ sentence that was given to Lillian Aciro, a mother of
seven who was convicted for defying presidential directives on the control of
Aciro was arrested at the beginning
of April, together with 19 others, with whom they were jointly charged and
convicted for disobeying lawful orders. They reportedly defied the night-time curfew
imposed by the government to control the movement of people beyond 7 p.m. as
the country battled a disease that has paralyzed the entire world.
The other persons convicted
together with Aciro include Rodgers Keyi, Josephat Aceyi , Brenda Akao, Ben
Aleper, James Jamel Alumal, Mary Nambi, John Paul Burusi, Felix Nyeko, Jackson
Kamwaga, Daniel Muwanguzi, Tonny Kaziba, Isa Wapisa, Hassan Anguzo, Benard
Atoroti, Fred Walusimbi and Josephine
Acen. Gasi Madalema, Kerry Owori, Akram Mwanje.
They were initially convicted by Buganda Road Court Senior Grade One Magistrate Stella Maris
Amabilis and sent to Kigo Prison to serve their sentences. But this afternoon, the
head of the High Court Criminal Division Justice Wilson Kwesiga said that the
lower court procedurally erred when it failed to follow the rules of procedures
Justice Kwesiga pointed out that the
lower court convicted and sentenced the accused persons following a charge-sheet that did not clearly show the offence they had committed, which
tantamount to a miscarriage of justice. He accordingly quashed the conviction
and sentence and ordered the immediate release of the group.
Justice Kwesiga’s decision
followed an application for review that was filed by Primah Kwagala, the
Director of Women's Pro Bono Initiative after several calls to offer support to
the seven minors who were abandoned in a house in Namuwongo, when their mothers
were reportedly arrested and jailed for a misdemeanour.
Kwagala told the court that she visited
the family on May 16, and found all children in one room with no hope,
no food and no idea about their mother’s whereabouts. But in the pursuit of justice
she established that there were glaring irregularities in the procedure of
recording the plea of guilt and the convicted persons never understood the
charges against them.
//Cue in; “having had the…
Cue out…set them free”. //
//Cue in; “Twawaba omusango nga…
Cue out…nokubasingisa omusango
nekusazamu”// Luganda by Lawyer David
Kwagala argued that if the
Magistrate had asked the accused if indeed they had disobeyed the lawful
orders, she should have been able to know that 16 of the accused persons were
homeless. This is because evidence shows that they were sleeping on the streets
and that there is no way they could have defied the directives on curfew if
they had nowhere else to go.