Lawyers under their umbrella body, Uganda Law Society, have condemned what they termed as impunity exhibited by security agencies on Tuesday when they re-arrested Dr.Ismail Kalule who had been granted bail by the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala.
Following his release on bail by Justice Moses Mukiibi, security operatives led by the Joint Anti- Terrorism Taskforce and Counter Terrorism police both in plain and uniform forcefully grabbed Kalule before bundling him into a waiting vehicle and drove off to an unknown destination.
Addressing journalists at their secretariat, the new ULS president Simon Peter Kinobe said it is appalling that despite calls from various stakeholders to the state to stop violating and attacking the precincts of the temples of justice but it has not stopped.
“We have always advised government that it is wrong for state agents to continue violating rights with impunity but it has not stopped. State agents have continued to act with impunity and in an unlawful manner,”Kinobe told journalists on Wednesday.
“Court orders should be protected and rule of law should prevail in the country.”
Call for closure of courts
Despite an earlier warning by Justice Mukiibi before delivering his ruling on bail, security operatives on Tuesday in an ugly scene re-arrested Dr. Kalule and forcefully dragged him into a waiting vehicle.
However, the lawyers’ body says they have spoken to the Chief Justice in a bid to find a lasting solution to the impunity orchestrated by state agencies.
“We have asked the Chief Justice to write to government to issue a last warning that in case such a thing happens again, he (Chief Justice) should order for a closure of courts.”
“If he orders that courts should be closed, we shall fully comply with the order,” the new Uganda Law Society president said.
Ann Karungi, a council member for the central region said the new regime of the lawyers’ body will not stop at issuing statements over incidents of human rights violation and rule of law.
“If it means laying down tools, we shall do it. As people knowledgeable about the law, we shall do everything within our means to stop this,”Karungi said.
Before the Tuesday incident at the International Crimes Division, on a number of occasions security agencies have re-arrested suspected either released on bail or acquitted of charges, the latest being the Kaweesi murder suspects who were re-arrested after being released on bail by the Nakawa magistrate’s court.
In his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Mukiibi however warned security agents that each player in the judicial system have specific roles adding that it is important for each of the players to respect each other’s role.
“Some public officers carry out their roles with the aid of weapons .Others do so with the aid of pens. Either method is empowered by the people through the Constitution and other laws.”
He advised that no organ of the state should exercise too much power in total disregard of the roles of the others because no organ has powers to do everything.