Mabirizi ran to the appellant court when Justice Ssekaana found him guilty of contempt of court on February 15th, 2022 and sentenced him to 18 months in civil prison. The same had earlier on January 27th, 2022 issued orders stopping Mabirizi from using his social pages to attack judicial officers.
Human rights lawyer, Isaac
Ssemakadde has asked the court of appeal to temporarily release
Male Mabirizi from prison pending the determination of
his appeal challenging the 18-month sentence handed to him for contempt of
He made the request when Mabirizi’s
application for stay execution of the orders issued by Civil Division High Court
Judge, Musa Ssekaana came up for hearing before Justice Christopher Izama Madrama on Tuesday.
Mabirizi ran to
the appellant court when Justice Ssekaana found him guilty of contempt of court
on February 15th, 2022 and sentenced him to 18 months in civil
prison. The same had earlier on January 27th, 2022 issued orders
stopping Mabirizi from using his social pages to attack judicial officers.
with the judgement, Mabirizi appealed the decision on grounds that he was never
given a fair hearing. He also argued that there is no way Justice Ssekaana could have presided over the Attorney
General's application since he was among the judicial officers allegedly
aggrieved by his social media posts. He also filed another application for a stay of execution pending the determination of his appeal challenging the
legality of the sentence given to him.
On Tuesday morning, Ssemakadde told the appellant court
that it was wrong for the government to arrest his
client when his cases are still pending in the Court of Appeal. To support his argument, Ssemakadde cited the example of legislators who were thrown out of
Parliament over election-related matters but continued to serve because of the pending civil court proceedings.
He described the decision by Government to take
Mabirizi to prison before his appeal could be concluded as superfluous, grounded on
confusion, malice and one that was done in bad faith and total violation
of the law.
Ssemakadde also told the court
that he had come in on a rescue mission because Mabirizi had wanted to represent himself and file supplementary affidavits showing how he is being harassed with threats of arrest on what he perceived as judicial tyranny and political
persecution but the government denied him the right to civility.
//Cue in: "Now if
Cue out: ... tyranny judicial elitism".//
//Cue in: " Koti elabika nga...
Cue out:...awakanya okumutwalayo".//
According to Ssemakadde, imprisonment is not
a perishable commodity and it can be served anytime. He asked the court to
maintain the status quo before
Mabirizi's arrest on Monday and render his committal inconsequential. He said that Mabirizi
can still go back and serve 539 days that he is so far left with if at all he
loses his appeal in both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
General's representative Patricia Mutesi objected to Mabirizi's application and
advised him to apply for bail, saying that he was found guilty of criminal contempt of Court. She noted that when one is found guilty of
criminal Contempt of Court, the best remedy one can seek pending the appeal is bail and not a stay of execution.
She noted that Mabirizi is already a convicted man and his fate was sealed on Monday
when he was sent to Kitalya prison, adding his prayers have since been overtaken by events. She asked the court to dismiss the application with costs. Justice Madrama has fixed February 25th 2022 to deliver his decision on the application.
The Criminal Investigations Directorate has
since also summoned Ssemakadde to
appear at Kibuli on February 28th
2022 and record a statement for abusing Justice Ssekaana. Contempt of Court is the only offence in law without a defined