“Sweaty State Prosecutor Isn’t Incompetent”

Counsel Nicholas Opiyo says State Prosecutor Florence Akello was unfairly ridiculed for sweating in court

Ugandans that took to social media on Tuesday to ridicule government prosecutor Florence Akello for looking anxious in court have been lambasted for lack of knowledge of court processes.

Counsel Akello is on the prosecution team in the case where former FDC Presidential candidate Col Dr Kizza Besigye is answering to Treason charges.

On Monday when Dr. Besigye was defending his bail application at the Kampala High Court, doctor the prosecutor was pictured sweating profusely as she fought off Besigye’s team of lawyers.

Some media sections interpreted her sweating as her failure to counter the defense arguments. The court proceeded the following day (Tuesday) to grant a non-cash bail of Shs. 100million to the opposition strongman.

When the pictures hit social media on Monday evening, numerous commentators rushed to mock the state prosecutor as incompetent.

Wednesday evening however, one of the country’s celebrated lawyers Nicholas Opiyo came to the rescue of Mrs. Akello.

Akello is pregnant

Akello is pregnant

In spite of being largely opposition leaning and opposed to the manner in which Dr Besigye’s case has been handled by government, Counsel Opiyo said her learned colleague Akello had been unfairly charged.

“Social media commentators, who needless to say either do not know her personally or are not themselves knowledgeable in matters of prosecution, devoured her with relish. Like the good civil servant that she is, she cannot respond to these unfortunate allegations,” said Opiyo in a statement.

Opiyo said that there were several possible reasons that could have caused sweating, including her attire.

“As required, lawyers wear heavy gowns and a flap while appearing in open court. This is worn over a suit, normally a dark suit. All of these combined makes for a very uncomfortable attire in an usually crowded and not well aerated courtroom.

“Sweating is therefore a possibility – it is not a demonstration of incompetence on the part of the lawyer addressing the court. I have sweated buckets on several occasions and gone on to win cases.”

Opiyo further noted that the social media commentators were having a field day, perhaps ignorant of the fact that the prosecutor is also pregnant.

He noted, “I have not been pregnant myself and may not be but I know that such condition changes the body’s metabolism and function significantly.

“We may disagree, as I do strongly, with the State’s handling of Dr. Besigye, but we need not assault the character of State prosecutors who are simply doing their job – a necessary prerequisite for a court hearing.

“Akello is a decent human being, a good lawyer and an impeccable prosecutor working under difficult circumstances – poor pay, no physical security and unable to rebut the assault of her character. Let us focus on the excess of the police is bringing dubious or weak charges against suspects like Dr. Besigye, but not character assassinate good folks who are simply doing a professional job like Counsel Akello.”






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