By Mukose Arnold Anthony
After the March, 18, 2020 president’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s directive suspending several gatherings for over a month, courts have with effect joined other sectors in implementing the directive, much as it wasn’t among the listed groups to effect it.
This website can authoritatively report that, all courts across the country have Friday morning affected the chief justice Bart Magunda Katurebe’s administrative and contingency directive towards the prevention and mitigation of the epidemic.
At Buganda road court, only court clerks and few judicial staffs are offering the services of bail extension and submission handling whereas bail applications are only being handled by the registrars of different divisions and magistrates courts.
Some court users who managed to speak to this website said that, they thought courts will operate like schools to stop open courts after Friday midday.
“For our own safety we shall abide by the directive though I came thinking that open courts will stop at midday” one of the court user at Buganda Road court said.
“The rudeness of some of these police officers here should be checked because you can’t just stop me who has come for a hearing, I can’t know when I will be come back after these people blocking me” another accused person complained.
Speaking to one of the lawyers who requested for obscurity has expressed worry over how the court is going to handle backlog which has been a challenge for a long time even before the current situation.
“If we have been crying of delayed justice and backlog even without such directives, how about now with our lazy judges and magistrate?” He questioned.
Katurebe on Friday issued a directive which will see judges, registrar’s magistrates, advocates and court users sending and receiving submissions, rulings, judgments and orders on emails.
Among the affected court users are the “real anti-corruption walk” activists from The Alternative, Redtop Brigade and The Uganda Poor Youth Movement who had gone for hearing of disobeying lawful orders when they allegedly contravened section 5 and 10 of the Public Order Management Act.
Prosecution allege that; on January 13, 2020, Faridah Bikobere, Joan Nakiyemba, Kemigisha Sharon, Mukooli Saad, Ssemwanga Jackson, Lutta Ferdinand and Yiga Muzafalu stormed the streets of Kampala and entebe road distributing black Monday newsletters, bells, wearing black overralls in barely footed calling upon Ugandans to resist and join them in the fight of corruption, by they didn’t use proper legal channels to do so.
Their matter has been adjourned by the clerk until April 21, 2020 for hearing.