The Judiciary has refused to reveal the names of the 32 Judges deployed by the Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija to handle 155 petitions arising from the just concluded general elections.
The Judiciary Public Relations Officer, Jamson Karemani, says that they do not want to name the Judges for fear that unscrupulous politicians could attempt to bribe them.
He also says that there are many fraudsters who could take advantage of the name of the justices to solicit money from the unsuspecting members of the public in the name of the judges.
Karemani told journalists at Uganda Media Center Tuesday morning that the Judiciary received 104 petitions related to the election of Members of Parliament and several others from Local Council Government elections.
According to Karemani, the Judiciary has allocated Shillings 1.2 billion to hear the petitions within 30 days as stipulated in the laws. He revealed that Mbale High Court Circuit has 31 petitions, the highest number and therefore has been allocated six Judges, followed by Jinja Circuit with four Judges and Civil Division, which has been merged with Luwero Circuit, will also have 4 Judges.
Fort Portal High Court has been allocated three Judges, Gulu, Mukono, Mpigi, Kabale and Lira High courts one judge each. Masaka, Masindi, Mbarara and Soroti High Courts have been allocated two judges each. Karemani emphasized the need to observe the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs during the hearing of the petitions. which will start on August 16th 2021.
He noted that this first day will be basically for reporting of the Judges who have been assigned to handle the petitions and thereafter they will be drafting the cause lists for the petitions. He has advised the defendants not to go to court on the first day, saying that the court will send them hearing notices.
On August 3rd, 2021, the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo issued guidelines that will be followed during the hearing of the election petitions.
“Only parties to the petitions, Advocates and Witnesses specifically summoned shall attend Court. Where the parties and Advocates in a single election Petition exceed 10 in number, the trial Judge shall use Audio Visual facilities where it exists or use open space where possible”, read the directive in part.
Owiny-Dollo also directed that the Media interested in covering these petitions should seek accreditation from the Registrar of a Specific court in consultation with the Public Relations Officer.
Key of the election petitions include the petition by Forum for Democratic Change’s Salaam Musumba against the former Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga arising from the Kamuli District Woman MP election, the petition by Sulaiman Kidandala against Kawempe North MP Muhammad Segirinya and three others filed against the Kayunga Woman MP, Aidah Nantaba.