check http://cyberstudio.biz/main/media/breezingforms/downloadtpl/error.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Tumwebaze says the law society continues to draw conclusions on matters regarding KCCA without listening to all stakeholders.
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clinic geneva;”>ULS on Monday lashed out at government on what they termed as a deliberate move intended to undermine and humiliate the judiciary by throwing embattled Mayor Erias Lukwago out of office just days after he was reinstated by the High Court.
ULS boss Ruth Sebatindira decried the state of affairs:
“Ugandans have been treated to continuing drama over the Lukwago cases with orders being made and set aside in a quick succession as there is a growing apathy about the judiciary where judges are being insulted by senior officers of the law,”
In a fierce response, Tumwebaze on Tuesday argued that as an “impartial legal professional umpire,” ULS should be fair in its criticism of government.
“I wonder why always ULS has continued to draw conclusions on many issues of contention in regard to the issues at KCCA without bothering to seek to hear all parties involved,” charged Tumwebaze in a rebuttal to Sebatindira.
“Your quick always to condemn the side of government, the councillors and myself the minister as if for us have no issues worthy listening to. Isn’t that a fair point for you to ponder on?”
Lukwago’s removal from office was widely criticised by members of the public as a government move to usurp the powers of an elected Mayor.
However, other critics argued that Lukwago’s rampant political activities were destabilising the city thus negatively impacting on the tempo of business and disrupting traffic flow not to mention destruction of property.
Efforts by Government to broker a peace deal with Lukwago are yet to bear fruit.
Abuse of court processes
The Minister further expressed shock that government is being accused of abusing court processes:
“Who is doing so? Why is a judge who happens to give a ruling in favor of the NRM or government side singled out, attacked and portrayed as a disgrace not to mention the open labels of cadre judge??” said Tumwebaze.
He added: “Why don’t we do the same to Justice Nyanzi and Justice Lydia who condemned us unheard and went to rule on issues beyond what the temporary orders sought to cure? How could some of us be declared guilty of contempt in just an application for a temporary order yet none of us was party to it. Why are you silent on all these? We have not attacked those honourable judges?”
Tumwebaze wondered whether judiciary is for one political side or thinking.
“Why would you for heaven’s sake seek to query the orders given by justice Kavuma as if they have anything ethical they offend, and you are silent on the orders of Waninda, Hon Nyanzi and Hon Lydia?” Tumwebaze challenged Sebatindira.
The ULS boss yesterday condemned the numerous attacks on the judiciary which they said remains an independent organ of government whose decisions must be respected and can only be challenged through the right legal channels.
However, the youthful minister was not convinced by Sebatindira’s statement: “You mean to say we had no right to appeal to the court of appeal? Of more concern was the Waninda order that was purported to have been given at 8.30am. Honestly and ethically why don’t you find any fault with this?
When do courts start official business? In fact we all know that even if a court session was to go beyond official business hours, the parties in the court are asked to consent and it’s recorded. Why are all these not issues to worry you as ULS and you are only quick to be disturbed by any other action that seeks to favour us?”
The Minister further referred to a recent incident where a lawyer attacked Attorney General Peter Nyombi at the ULS gathering in Kampala before tearing the official’s speech.
“The Attorney General has been physically assaulted at your own convened meeting by a hooligan. Not even a word of condemnation came out? What is this and whom are you guys standing up for? For the law or for some political interests?” charged Tumwebaze.
“It is therefore not enough for all of us to pretend over issues and use the executive arm of government as a scapegoat. Clearly as a society and as a country we tend to quickly politicize each and every matter for personal advantage. The three arms of government are independent from each other though they must work together in a respectful manner. The way I respect a judge doing her his/her work is the way I expect him or her to respect me when I am doing my work as a member of the executive arm. Even if I was to do a mistake in the execution of statutory obligations, I ought to be helped, given a fair hearing and not demonized.”