In the past days you have come out strongly to condemn the pelting of Grade 1 Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu with water bottles while she delivered judgement in the Stella Nyanzi “Vagina” case. You cite increasing acts of contempt of Court and disrespect of judicial process. On that, I am with you!
I want to keep this short because I know you do not have much time, so I will dig right in!
The Judiciary of Uganda that you preside over has in the past given Ugandans several reasons not only to lose faith in it, but also to mistrust its intentions. From time to time, your Temples of Justice have been factories of injustice. We have seen many cases of judicial officers bending to the will of the mighty and the rich against those that cannot afford to oil the wheels. We have also seen you cower in the face of our mighty rulers and delivering shambolic judgments that rubber stamp and perpetuate dictatorship in this country. Your 3:4 verdicts and such close calls in election petitions are proof of your indecisiveness to clamp down on electoral injustice.
Is it not you litigants that say that Justice must not only be done, but seen to be done?
Let me turn to the peculiar case of the Kanyamunyus. Bart, this one pains my heart each time I think of it. It summarizes what this country has come down to. It is also a dangerous precedent that is leading to the brewing of anger inside the hearts of many, especially directed towards “that” particular group that now appears untouchable and entitled. Poor Akena continues to lurk over the earth and his family suffers the heartache of seeing the man who brutally murdered their child going unpunished.
Bart, you and your Judiciary are complacent in this particular case. You have allowed it to go cold. The last time we heard of it was in January when Kanyamunyu and his co-accused appeared in court to find the judicial officer in charge AWOL. These tactics are what brews anger in the hearts of Ugandans.
When a Ugandan finds themselves with no option but to throw a plastic bottle at the motif of injustice in this country, then know that the situation is getting worse. Not even the fear of jail or any other punishment can hold back the boiling anger and disappointment. In the end, judicial officers may as well become like our “Togikwatako” legislators who pray for protection from their voters after going against their wishes.
Bring the Kanyamunyus and other such cold cases (Ssebuliba and others) to an end and deliver justice or else, the judiciary will continue receiving bottles thrown at it (physically or ideally)