justice Jane Francis Abodo has Monday afternoon at the criminal division of High Court set 14th January 2019 for the ruling in a complaint filed by the co-principals of the Jobless Brotherhood Norman Tumuhimbise and Robert Mayanja over alleged mishandling of their trial by City Hall magistrates court.
The duo were on 20th June 2014 charged at City Hall Court with criminal trespass, interrupting parliamentary proceedings and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, when they allegedly stormed parliament on 17th June 2014 with two pigs painted yellow in a historic anti-corruption protest.
After His Worship Moses Nabende, who was the 3rd trial magistrate in the case, rejected their request for court to a view of the precincts of parliament, and to recall the police officers who had testified against them, the two activists through their lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde of Center for Legal Aid ran to the High Court complaining of foul play, including denial of the right to address the trial court through oral submissions in full view of the public and the press.
Referring to section 41 (1) (a) and (c) of the Magistrates Court Act, Ssemakadde submitted that a view of the alleged scenes of crime was essential for the fair trial of the charges brought against his clients.
“A fair and impartial trial or inquiry of these offences can no longer be conducted at the City Hall Court,” Counsel Ssemakadde added after he had outlined several misgivings of his clients including irregular re-allocation of the file from Her Worship Beatrice Khaiza to His Worship Moses Nabende by the former Chief magistrate of Buganda Road Jameson Kalemani.
In response, Senior State Attorney Nelly Asiku submitted that the application was brought in bad faith and was merely aimed at delaying the proceedings in the lower court.
Tumuhimbise, who is the currently the national coordinator of another campaign group called The Alternative, expressed happiness for the High Court having heard their application after a long delay.
Mayanja the ‘Jobless brotherhood operations coordinator said that they are hopeful the High Court will eventually grant them a chance to address court at the scene of crime (parliament) which they have been asking for as required by law in criminal trespass charges.