BY Mukose Arnold Anthony
The two pioneers of pig demonstrations in Uganda (Mr. Norman Tumuhimbise and Mr. Robert Mayanja) have Tuesday morning survived being remanded by the high court criminal division in Kampala over alleged frustration of the case by court.
High court Lady Justice Frances Abodo lost her temper over the failure of duo’s counsel to appear and did not allow the accused persons to address court over their counsel’s failure to turn up.
The two applied to the High Court for Revision over the alleged failure of the trial magistrate to observe some Articles of the Judicature Act during the trial at City Hall Court.
The applicants allege that the trial Magistrate, His Worship MosesNabende wanted them to file their defense submissions in written format and out of public court contrallyto what the law provides.
In 2016, their application was allocated to Justice JosephMurangira but for over 2 years, the file hasn’t been disposed off till it was allocated to the new Judge (Abodo) who is currently in charge of it.
Justice Abodo’s temper was lost on Tuesday morning after reading that the file was as old as four years resulting from failure of their counsel Isaac Ssemakadde and one of the accused persons, a one Robert Mayanja to turn up on some occasions including today.
Asiku Mary, the senior state attorney who was holding brief for a colleague informed court that counsel for the applicants has frustrated the matter and that it was evident that even after having received the notice in time, he failed to appear today which suggested that counsel lost interest in the case.
“It seems counsel for the applicants lost interest in this application because he has on several occasions failed to appear since 2016 and its evident that he has failed to be here today hence I pray that the application be dismissed” Prosecutor Asiku submitted.
The duo tried to explain to court how they were frustrated by the judicial strike, unpreparedness of the prosecution and how the former judge Murangira had promised to set a hearing date and failed.JusticeAbododidn’t adhere.
“I don’t want to hear anything about your lawyer, because he has played a big role in the delay of this application yet I want to dispose it off, if you’re ready to proceed, we can start since I’m ready to listen” Justice Abodo told the duo before adjourning the matter to 17th November 2018.
Norman Tumuhimbise, the 1st applicant told court that it will be a dis-service to their advocate,Counsel Isaac Ssemakadde whom they entrusted power to represent them and that whenever they begun to argue out their application, they would like their counsel to be present.
“Though we have been waiting for this for over two years and though you’re blaming our counsel, for fairness, this delay wasn’t brought about by him but by the former judge who failed to allocate us time for this matter” Tumuhimbise informed court.
“In the matter of justice, I adjourn the matter to 17th of December for proceedings otherwise I was to dismiss it, cancel your bail but now you are freeto either come under self-litigation or your lawyer will be available but we must proceed because I want this matter to be concluded other” Justice Abodo ordered.
Speaking to the media after court, Robert Mayanja said that the reason for their application for revision was failure by the City Hall magistrate failing to meet locus and wanting them to give written submissions in trial chambers and without media.