The High Court in Kampala has sentenced lawyer Male Mabirizi to 18 months imprisonment over contempt of court.
Mabirizi was recently ordered to pay a fine of Shs300 million over contempt of court but the state has since accused him of continued attacks against judicial officers.
State Attorney Patricia Mutesi told the High Court that Mabirizi has continued making contemptuous posts on his social media platforms in which he attacks Justice Musa Ssekaana and the Judiciary.
The State Attorney said that it was only prudent that Mabirizi was found guilty of contempt of court and the best punishment would be sending him to prison.
Mutesi noted that in one of his social media posts, Mabirizi described the Shs300 million fine as being null and void, a statement she said was an attack on courts of law and the Judiciary.
In response, Mabirizi’s lawyer Noel Nuwe asked court to allow his client to come and explain himself over the said posts, adding that he was not aware of any court order stopping him from attacking judicial officers.
However, Justice Musa Ssekaana said Mabirizi has never presented himself nor filed any affidavits to defend himself over the accusations despite being summoned over the same.
“Mabirizi never presented himself to court after being summoned and neither did he file affidavits to deny the allegations against him. Court has been left with no option but to order for his arrest on sight and be taken to prison for 18 months,” Ssekaana ruled.
The judge said he had been forced to make a brief ruling in order to ensure Mabirizi stopped his attacks on judicial officers. Justice Ssekaana ordered for Mabirizi’s immediate arrest so that he serves 18-month imprisonment.
However, following the orders, Mabirizi said he had earlier ran to the Court of Appeal to hear his application to stay the execution of all orders by Justice Musa Ssekaana including one of having him being detained for 18 months.
“The order is illegal because no man can be a judge in his own cause. All in all, Ssekaana breached every fair hearing principle and I hence reject his unconstitutional ruling. I am hopeful that the Court of Appeal will stay the implementation of all these illegalities come Monday. I will at no time be bowed down by illegal orders,” Mabirizi said.