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Lawyer Mabirizi wants court to force Bigirimana to apologize to Judge Kisaakye

Masculine Mabirizi

Barrister Male Mabirizi has filed a petition in the High Court seeking injunctions to compel Judiciary Secretary Pius Bigirimana to publicly apologize to Supreme Court Justice Esther Kisaakye.

In a petition filed in the Kampala High Court, Mabirizi who is currently serving a prison sentence for contempt of court, argues that Bigirimana’s action writing to Judge Kisaakye demanding that she explain why a nine-month salary was paid to her while she stayed away from work should not be picked up.

In an affidavit supporting the motion, Mabirizi argues that Bigirimana’s actions, among other things, interfere with the judiciary which should be independent. “I also know that the power to sanction a Supreme Court Justice or any other Judge or Justice or any other Judicial Officer does not belong to the Permanent Secretary/Secretary of the Judiciary. I know that the said letter derogated from the non-derogable right to a fair trial because it demanded reimbursement before any hearing… The letter had the effect of undermining the independence of justice.

It is in the interest of protecting the independence and integrity of the judiciary that the request is granted,” Mabirizi’s affidavit states in part. Mabirizi also adds that Bigirimana is illegally occupying the position of Permanent Secretary/Secretary of the Judiciary after the 2020 ruling by the Constitutional Court that the judiciary must be autonomous to foster the independence envisioned by the constitution.

In 2017, the Uganda Law Society petitioned the Constitutional Court to strike down a number of clauses in the Public Financial Management Act which it said subjected the judiciary to the control of the legislature and the government. executive, when they are equal arms of the government. Therefore, Mabirizi asks the court to issue “a statement that the July 1, 2022 letter of Pius Bigirimana signing as Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary of Justice Esther Kisaakye was illegal, procedurally irregular, ultra vires of the signer functions, null and cancel.

Mabirizi’s candidacy follows calls from various organizations and individuals denouncing the “mistreatment” of Kisaakye. Among the organizations that have spoken out about how Kisaakye is being treated is the International Commission of Jurists which has demanded that before Bigirimana enforces its directives, he must ensure that Kisaakye has the opportunity to respond.

Kisaakye rose to prominence last year when she was the sole dissenter in a petition stemming from a presidential petition filed by former National Unity Platform-NUP presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, asking for orders to undo President Museveni’s victory.

When the court convened to render its decision on Kyagulanyi’s motion seeking to introduce new evidence to support the motion, Kisaakye was not allowed to dissent. She then told reporters that Chief Justice Alphonse Owinyi-Dollo confiscated her decision.