The permission follows a successful application by the Uganda Law Society-ULS which was supported by an affidavit by its current president Pheona Nabasa Wall, who told the court that the ULS Act requires them to conduct an AGM annually as soon as convenient, after December 31.
The High Court in Kampala has granted permission to the Uganda Law Society to conduct a virtual Annual General Meeting. The meeting that brings together more
than 3500 members is scheduled to take place on September 10,
permission follows a successful application by the Uganda Law Society-ULS which
was supported by an affidavit by its current president Pheona Nabasa Wall, who told the court that the ULS
Act requires them to conduct an AGM annually as soon as convenient, after December 31.
However, she added that it is not possible for them to hold a physical meeting due to the several restrictions
and Standard Operating Procedures that were put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 as
imposed by the government and the Public Health (Control of COVID-19) Regulations,
2020 which limit large gatherings.
Nabaasa added that the ULS
Act also requires them to constitute an Executive Council annually which is
usually elected at the Annual General Meeting. But due to the virus and
guidelines to mitigate it, it will be impossible to hold physical elections
involving over 3,500 members convening from all over the country which will
create a leadership vacuum at the Uganda Law Society.
In response, Justice Ssekaana agreed with the Law Society President that COVID-19
social distancing measures have fast-tracked the evolution of virtual engagements and that the traditional social interactions of member
meetings have been limited. He added that it is now impractical to convene a meeting in an ordinary manner.
He thus granted permission to have
the meeting online via a combined online web broadcast and mobile phone
platform or other virtual platforms which all eligible members shall attend,
participate and vote electronically.
Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court was also supposed to
hear a case filed by two other members of the Uganda Law Society; Steven Kalali and
Bonny Akol seeking to block the forthcoming elections. The petitioners argue that the current
Elections Committee led by George Omunyokol is not fully constituted, and therefore it cannot conduct elections. The commitee has four out of the required five members.
But when the matter came up for
hearing, the Presiding Chief Magistrate Dr Douglas Singiza adjourned the matter
to Tuesday saying that he wanted to consult since it was brought to
his attention that there is an order from the High Court related to the matter
he was handling.
But Speaking to URN, Kalali
said that his case is not yet overtaken by events since they are challenging
the legality of the Election Committee because it’s not regional-based as required