Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has urged judiciary to use the regrettable incident where Buganda road magistrates, Gladys Kamasanyu, was hit with a bottle as for self-reflection not as a platform to wage war against political platforms and formations.
Early this month, Magistrate Kamasanyu tested the bitterness of angry Ugandans after sentencing Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi to 18 months in prison. A water bottle hurled at the magistrate’s head by Nyanzi’s supporters in protest to the sentenced handed to Dr. Nyanzi.
In the process six people were arrested and charged and remanded to Luzira prison. The the charged persons include Augustine Ojobile, Abudalla Waiswa, Joel Kabali, Simoni Wanyera, Fatuma Abenabyo and Moses Katumba.
Speaking at FDC headquarters in Kampala on Monday, the spokes Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, said without rationalizing incident, Judiciary should subject itself to an external investigation headed by credible people such as Prof. Fredrick Ssempebwa, Prof. Fredrick Juuko, and Prof. Oloka Onyango, Prof. Sylvia Tamale. Naming staff to investigate staff including their bosses is a cover up.
“We understand the circumstances under which the Judiciary is operating. Her independence is deliberately undermined by Museveni but selling justice is also unacceptable,” he said.
Despite getting Shs 255 billion annually, the performance of the Judiciary remains a big concern. Currently, there are about140 cases pending in Supreme Court which handled only 43 cases the whole of last year.
There are 15,628 cases before the Court of Appeal which handled only 598 cases last year. There are 130,000 cases still pending before the High Court which handled only 12571 cases last year. There are 183,771 cases pending in Magistrate Courts which handled only 62,000 last year.
“Nobody knows the criteria used by courts to hear cases. There are no standard grounds for giving or denying bail. And we all know what has been happening to money we are asked to pay for bail.”
“If a citizen or citizens get angry and throw an object at a court officer, a responsible institution should use the incident for self-reflection and not as a platform to wage war at political platforms and formations,” Semujju said.