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Age limit: Pro- Kadaga protestors were wrong to frighten judges, says judiciary

KAMPALA. The Judiciary has condemned Wednesday’s demonstration staged at the High Court in Kampala by a group of people believed to be supporters of Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

On Wednesday, a group of protesters donned in yellow shirts and others carrying placards, stormed the Nakasero-based Civil Division of the High Court, as they protested against subjecting Ms Kadaga to the legal process.
Some of the placards read: “Leave Kadaga alone”, NRM Oyee, the quorum was there (317).”

“The actions of such groups are an unwarranted direct affront on the independence of the Judiciary which is protected by the Constitution,” a Judiciary press statement released on Thursday evening, quoting the Chief Registrar Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa stated in part.

Adding: “Under Article 128 of the Constitution, no person or authority shall interfere with the courts or judicial officers in the exercise of their judicial functions. It strikes at the core of what the Constitution is all about – re-establishing the rule of law in this country.”

He further noted that the Judiciary has a constitutional mandate to adjudicate cases between citizens and government as well as other agencies and that they should be allowed to do their job.

“Let the institutions work. It’s really wrong for people to go and mobilise mobs to come and frighten us to prevent us from doing our work. Whoever is promoting them is really doing a disservice to the country.”

Adding: “We find it callous for litigants to organise crowds to try and undermine judicial independence. If we want to be governed by the rule of law, then we must allow institutions to operate and that is why the Constitution provides for the courts.”

The demonstrations happened at the time when Ms Kadaga was wanted in court to defend herself over allegations that she over stepped her mandate when she suspended six MPs from the House during heated debate on the age limit Bill that was eventually signed into law by President Museveni.

The suspended MPs were; Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Jonathan Odur (Erute South), Mubarak Munyagwa (Kawempe South), Anthony Akol, (Kilak North) Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality).

Their case has since been referred to the Constitutional Court for interpretation.
This week’s demonstration at the court is not the first one to happen in the recent times.
In August 2016, an angry mob protesting the trial of the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura stormed Makindye Chief Magistrates Court.

The IGP was wanted alongside six of his senior officers over accusations of torturing supporters of opposition politician Dr Kizza Besigye.

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