Opio’s court file is allocated to Justice Musa Ssekaana who is yet to fix a date for hearing.
The Grade one Magistrate filed his application before the High Court Civil Division
The Interdicted former
Mbarara Grade One Magistrate, Opio Belmos Ogwang has petitioned the Civil
Division of High Court seeking to block his sexual harassment trial before the
Judicial Service Commission.
Opio's application is filed before the Civil Division of High Court by his lawyers of Masereka, Mangeni
and Company Advocates.
He wants his
trial blocked until the determination of the main suit where he is challenging the
legality of being interdicted for more than five years with half pay.
appointed as a Grade One Magistrate on June 10th, 2008 and confirmed into service
on September 20th, 2010 by the Judicial Service Commission.
April 2nd, 2015, Opio was interdicted on sexual harassment allegations. According to
the letter seen by Uganda Radio Netowrk - URN, the then Chief Registrar Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa
interdicted Opio following a complaint of sexual harassment lodged against him
by a former female clerk at Kyenjonjo Chief Magistrates Court.
wrote in his letter that following such, the Judiciary Internal Disciplinary
Committee found that the misconduct was grave and besides, it was the
second time it was handling sexual harassment cases against the same Opio.
case had been filed against him by an accused person in a criminal matter in
2011 in Kumi District. But, Opio was
given a warning then.
As a result,
Opio’s matter was forwarded to the Judicial Service Commission for action and
he denied the charges against him in July 2015.
then, Opio says that the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Service
Commission has never concluded his matter and has kept him on interdiction for five
years. The mandatory period for interdiction is not more than six months, according to Public
Service Standing Orders.
Opio adds that
the Judicial Service Commission by failure to conclude his case is a violation
of his right to fair and speedy hearing. He wants
court to stay the proceedings before the Judicial Service Commission pending
the determination of the main suit in which he is challenging the legality of
interdicting him for more than five years.
Should court fail to stay the trial, Opio is worried that he will face
irreparable damages since his career growth has been stunted.
to Julius Mwebembezi, the Judicial Service Commission Registrar for the
Directorate of Planning, Research and Inspectorate, the Commission cannot comment
on this matter because they have not yet been served with copies of Opio’s
“We have not
yet been served with the court documents. That could be a recent matter,” Mwebembezi
told URN on phone.
file is allocated to Justice Musa Ssekaana who is yet to fix the hearing date.