According to Article 144 of the Constitution, a Judicial officer may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of the body or mind, misbehavior or misconduct or incompetence.
Male Mabirizi has started the process seeking to remove the current Chief Justice
Alfonse Owiny-Dollo from office due to alleged misconduct and incompetence.
started the process on Tuesday with his petition to the Secretary of the
Judicial Service Commission, a constitutional body charged with appointing
judicial officers and regulating their conduct.
He contends that
during the Presidential Election Petition of former Presidential Candidate
Robert Kyagulanyi, Owiny-Dollo committed misbehavior and incompetence thereby
committing offenses against discipline in as far as the regulations of the
Judicial Service Commission are concerned.
Mabirizi states that despite being a former Advocate of President Yoweri Museveni who was listed as
the first respondent in Kyagulanyi’s petition, Owiny-Dollo went ahead to
preside over the proceedings in the case.
Mabirizi this was even after he had written to him (Chief Justice) asking
him to recuse but he went ahead and determined Kyagulanyi's application seeking
more time to file additional evidence to the petition before determining the recusal
submitted to the Judicial Service Commission also indicates that the Chief
Justice then dismissed Mabirizi's recusal application without reasons on February 23
indicates that on March 1 2021, Mabirizi filed an application seeking to stay
all the proceedings in Kyagulanyi’s petition until final determination of his
case before the East African Court of Justice which is challenging Owiny- Dollo’s
decision for failing to recuse himself from the case.
according to Mabirizi, Owiny-Dollo did not even share this copy of the
application to his fellow justices on the panel, refused to fix it and later on
the same day, he fixed the withdrawal of the petition which was heard and
granted on March 5 2021, when his application for stay of proceedings was still pending.
is a time bomb to Uganda, he has turned Supreme Court into a 'Judicial Deals
House' where Justice is perverted through fraudulent and illogical actions and
decisions thereby defeating Uganda People's Interests and Aspirations",
reads Mabirizi's petition in part.
wants the Judicial Service Commission to advise the President to appoint a tribunal such that it can quickly remove the Chief
Justice from office.
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Spokesperson of Judicial Service Commission Maria Theresa Nabulya has told URN
that they have officially received the case and that such complaints of
Judicial Officers above the High Court level require that a full nine-member
Commission to sit and look into them. Nabulya adds that the Secretary to the
Commission is the one who introduces such complaints to the Commission led by Justice Benjamin
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Article 144 of the Constitution, a Judicial officer may be removed from office
only for inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from
infirmity of the body or mind, misbehavior or misconduct or incompetence.
The same law
shows that there will be a tribunal appointed which will recommend to the
president that the judicial officer be removed from office on one or more of the said four
question whether the removal of that judicial officer should be investigated
shall be referred to the President by either the Judicial Service Commission or
the Cabinet with advice that the President should appoint a tribunal to look
into the matter.
The law adds
that if the Tribunal advises the President that the Judicial Officer be
suspended, then the President will have no option but to suspend that official from performing the
functions of his or her office.
Mabirizi's petition arises from the recent withdrawn presidential election petition by Kyagulanyi
who wanted to overturn Museveni’s January 14th victory from the
general elections on grounds that he had committed several electoral offenses.
proceedings, Mabirizi who was not a party to the case asked Owiny-Dollo to step
aside from the case arguing that he was partial having been Museveni’s lawyer
in 2006 during the Dr Kiiza Besigye Presidential Election Petition.
declined to step down from the case, forcing Mabirizi to improvise several
means aimed at challenging is decision to stay in the case. He has since gone to the East African Court
of Justice to challenge it.