Lawyer Male Mabirizi has accused Justice Musa Ssekaana of the civil division of the High Court of having a personal vendetta against him following a shs300 million fine against the lawyer.
Ssekaana on Thursday fined Mabirizi shs300 million after losing an application against him for contempt of court when he made comments on social media after losing a case in which he challenged Capital Markets Authority’s decision to approve MTN Uganda’s Initial Public Offering (IPO).
“ These statements amounted to contempt in as far as they imputed wrong motives to the Judge’s judicial acts and decisions, and further that they tended to negatively affect the administration of justice by undermining the confidence of the public in the rulings of the said Judge and by extension the High Court,”Justice Ssekaana said in his ruling.
However, in a statement released shortly after the ruling, Mabirizi said he would challenge the ruling and resultant fine in the Court of Appeal and later the East African Court of Justice.
“When I knew that the application was before Ssekaana, I, on December,23 2021 applied for his recusal because of the unmitigated animosity, frightening bellicosity and ceaseless skirmishing between Judge Ssekaana Musa and I, his black-listed litigant, the one the Judge declared persona non grata in his High Court Civil Division. This is the same litigant that Judge Ssekaana Musa publicly threatened with imprisonment on December, 17 ,2019 and he now has a fertile opportunity to do so under the guise of adjudicating Misc. Application 843 of 2021,” Mabirizi said.
“Upon his refusal to recuse, I filed East African Court of Justice Reference No. 1 of 2022 and High Court Misc. Application No. 21 of 2022 for stay of proceedings and ruling. I had earlier filed Applications to strike out the ex parte proceedings which had occurred in my absence and to cross-examine the Attorney Generals witness. We have no rulings yet. Therefore, no expectation of a final verdict was expected at this time but it is happening because of Judge Ssekaana’s unethical conduct. “
Mabirizi said the Thursday ruling was “a great surprise” to him since he had already filed applications before the East African Court and High Court to stay proceedings and ruling.
“Since my right to fair hearing has been derogated, I will not delve into his reasoning leading to a shs300 million fine. I have filed an application to set aside the ruling and orders. I have filed a Notice of Appeal and I am taking steps to challenge it in East African Court of Justice.”