Lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned parliament not to vet the newly appointed Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo and his deputy, Justice Richard Buteera.
President Museveni appointed Justice Owiny-Dollo as the new Chief Justice, whereas Justice Richard Buteera was appointed the new Deputy Chief Justice and their names were forwarded to parliament for approval.
However, in his petition to parliament, Mabirizi wants parliament not to vet the two judges.
“The purpose of this letter is to object to the nomination and any approval of Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo because his past puts him below the standards set by article 144(2)(b) and (c) of the Constitution since he is incompetent, has engaged in acts of misbehavior, discriminates self-representing litigants and uses scare tactics towards parties demanding for their rights in court,”Mabirizi says in his petition to parliament.
Mabirizi says his problems with Dollo stem from the age limit petition in Mbale where he was one of the petitioners and was representing himself.
He argues that he was threatened, evicted from court seats as well as being thrown to the dock as if he was standing a criminal trial, treatment he says was inhumane.
“He said that his court was not going to be the first court to breach rules of fair hearing. He later prevented me from cross-examining Gen. David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defence Forces. Therefore, approving Justice Owiny-Dollo will be disastrous to the administration of justice,”Mabirizi says in his petition.
Deputy Chief Justice
The lawyer also argues that Justice Richard Buteera is not fit to serve as the Deputy Chief Justice and asked parliament not to approve him.
He says that whereas the Constitution stipulates that the Deputy Chief Justice will be appointed by the President acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission with approval from parliament, in the instant case, this was not followed.
“It is common knowledge that at the time of his nomination, the position of the Deputy Chief Justice was not vacant and Justice Buteera applied and sat for interviews, vetted and forwarded to the President on the post of Chief Justice and not Deputy Chief Justice,”Mabirizi says.
The lawyer argues that the position of Deputy Chief Justice was never advertised and applied for, since there was already someone occupying it.
“Since article 79(3) requires you to protect the Constitution, approving his(Buteera) nomination shall no doubt be a breach of the Constitution.”