The judiciary has denied claims that the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo had confiscated the file containing the minority ruling by Justice Esther Kisakye in Robert Kyagulanyi’s election petition.
Kisakye on Thursday shed light on a standoff with Dollo in which the latter was accused of trying to gag her dissenting ruling by confiscating the file.
Speaking to journalists after the Thursday afternoon drama, Solomon Muyita, the Judiciary principal communications officer described the incident as a miscommunication from both sides.
“Nothing has been confiscated from the lady justice because the copy she read this afternoon had not been shared with anybody. Nothing has been confiscated at all because they didn’t have it,”Muyita said.
Drama ensued when the public address system and lights were switched off as Justice Kisakye proceeded to address the press after the other members of the panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court refused to return as had been agreed.
Kisakye said the Chief Justice had wanted to gag her from reading her dissenting ruling by ordering the confiscation of her file.
“The Chief Justice’s order to read my ruling at a later date is unconstitutional and that’s why I disobeyed it,” said Justice Kisakye
Speaking about the incidents, Muyita explained there was a miscommunication between the other justices and Justice Kisakye .
“I think miscommunication because the Chief Justice was very clear when he adjourned the court at mid-day. He said the court would reconvene at 1:30 pm and the business that was supposed to happen after was the minority ruling by Justice Esther Kisakye. Usually, before a ruling is given in such a court, a justice is expected to share her ruling with colleagues for perusal but in this case, the judge had indicated to the colleagues that her ruling was not ready,” he said.
“They were waiting in chambers for her to share her ruling and before she could bring a copy to them, she said she was to read her ruling in court and they could not understand. They were waiting after she promised she had completed her ruling. But before she could share, she said she was proceeding into court, and her colleagues could not just follow her to court before they peruse the ruling.”
The Judiciary principal communications officer said the lady justice was unfair to her colleagues because she had earlier read through their rulings in the matter and that it was strange that she would turn around to stop them from reading hers.
“Even the rulings they read this morning, the lady justice Kisakye had the benefit of reading her colleagues’ ruling. When it is a practice, then members follow it because that is what has been happening here. Even today she didn’t refuse to read through her colleagues’ rulings and indeed promised to come back with hers.”
On switching off lights and the public address system, Muyita said since the court had been adjourned, these had to be switched off until the court reconvened.
“Systems had to be switched off on the understanding that when the lady justice is ready, the court would reconvene. Indeed the court was to reconvene and she would have her time to read her ruling as court had made her decision.”