City Lawyer Male Mabirizi has filed a Notice of Appeal challenging the judgment ordering him to pay a fine of 300 million shillings for contempt of court. He said he was not given a fair hearing.
On Thursday, High Court Judge Musa Ssekana directed Mabirizi to pay Shs300m. This was after the Judge ruled that Mabirizi’s statements and posts on his Twitter handle @MaleMabiriziHKK and Facebook page; Uganda People’s Interests were in contempt of court.
According to the Notice of Appeal, Mabirizi said he never declined to file his submission but the applicant only served him this week on Monday.
“In this letter, the Attorney General informed me that the Judge had directed that they file submissions by January 11, 2022, so that I reply by January 17, 2022, seven days later. They filed on 24 December giving me up to January 31 to respond but conflicted Judge Musa Ssekaana ‘ruled’ on 27 January,” reads his notice in part.
Lawyer Male Mabirirzi vowed to challenge this ruling in the East African Court of Justice.
The lawyer also described the verdict as null and void since it was delivered less than a week after he was served, and was never allowed to file his defense.
“Having been served with Applicant’s submissions just on Monday 24th January 2022 and preparing to file my submissions a week after, as per the ‘Judge’s’ own schedule, this decision was a great surprise and a clear reason why we most engage a higher gear in our fight for rule of law, mainly against hypocritical men and women who sit as Judges but disregard their Constitutional mandate,” he said.
Mabirizi also claimed a personal fight between him and Justice Ssekaana whom he said has not been secretive about his disdain for the maverick lawyer in the past.
“When I knew that the Application was before Ssekaana, I, on 23’d December 2021 applied for his recusal because of “the unmitigated animosity, frightening bellicosity and ceaseless skirmishing between Judge Ssekaana Musa and I, his black-listed litigant, the one the Judge declared persona non grata in his High Court Civil Division. This is the same litigant that Judge Ssekaana Musa publicly threatened with imprisonment on 17. December 2019 and he now has a fertile opportunity to do so under the guise of adjudicating Misc. Application 843 of 2021,” he said.
“Upon his refusal to recuse, I filed East African Court of Justice Reference No. 1 of 2022 and High Court Misc. Application No. 21 of 2022 for stay of proceedings and ruling. I had earlier filed Applications to strike out the ex parte proceedings which had occurred in my absence and to cross-examine the Attorney General’s witness. We have no rulings yet.”
“Therefore, no expectation of a final verdict was expected at this time but it is happening because of ‘Judge’ SSEKAANA’s unethical conduct”.