The heads of the Judiciary and Executive have agreed to work together for the good of the country after a meeting between Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo.
Nabbanja paid a visit to Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo-Dollo at the High Court this morning.
The meeting was witnessed by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Norbert Mao who oversees the Judiciary. Also present was the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka.
After the meeting, the heads of government told the gathered press that they had agreed to work together for the good of the people.
It is hoped that the engagement will settle the recent public spat between the two government officials.
Recently, Nabbanja stormed the magistrate’s court in Makindye and grilled a grade one magistrate Amon Mugezi over a widow Gertrude Nalule, who was facing imprisonment after failing to repay a shillings 2.8 million loan over a land dispute.
Nabbanja argued that the court was not dispensing justice rightly, accusing the judiciary of case mishandling. Her actions irked Dollo who wrote a circular demanding that he be furnished with the details of Nabbanja’s misgivings.
Thereafter, Dollo lashed out at Nabbanja, saying that despite having good intentions, she should concentrate on more pressing national issues than waste time correcting the judiciary.
Amidst thunderous applause from the judicial officers while speaking at Mestil hotel in Kampala during opening the Annual Registrars and Magistrates’ Conference recently, Owinyi-Dollo said Nabbanja’s actions were unacceptable in a country that has a constitution that recognises the judiciary as one of three equal but independent arms of government.
“The judiciary of Uganda will never be intimidated under my watch,” Dollo said.
The Chief Justice stated that he would be failing in his duties as chief justice if he didn’t speak out forcefully against the actions of Nabbanja and defended his judicial officers.
He asked the assembled judicial officers not to be intimidated by anybody while they carry out their constitutional duties, noting that said even when they err, there is an appeal mechanism that the constitution has set out in which that error can be rectified.
He however called upon the judicial officers to stay away from actions that tarnish the reputation of the judiciary. He said if anybody is caught outside the ambits of the law, he would not hesitate to call for his or her sacking.
In the past, President Museveni has also openly criticised Uganda’s judicial officials for making decisions that are inconsiderate of the plight of the people.