The judiciary has strongly condemned the conduct of security agencies to re-arrest suspects that have been freed by courts of law and referred to the act as an affront to the rule of law in Uganda, and one that has grave consequences to the country’s justice system.
In a statement released by the Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo on Thursday, the judiciary is concerned with increased and persistent cases of interference in the administration of justice by security agencies.
The developments follows an incident that happened on Wednesday where four murder suspects were wantonly, crudely and brutally re-arrested in the precincts of the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kololo, which had just released them on bail.
The suspects Yusuf Nyanzi, Jibril Kalyango, Joshua Kyambadde, and Yusuf Mugerwa, are on trial before the International Crimes Division for the March 2017 murder of Assistant IGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Security agents some in plain clothes took charge of the main gate of the court and blocked the accused persons from leaving the precincts; and then arrested them. They later whisked away the accused persons to an unknown destination together with their attorney, James Mubiru.
In the statement, the judiciary refers to the high handedness in the re-arrest of persons released by courts as an affront to the rule of law in Uganda. It also notes that the action of security agencies leads to peoples’ loss of faith in courts of judicature, which can result in grave ramifications where people choose not to come to courts of law, but take the law into their hands.
The judiciary also states that the continued re-arrests of suspects in the precincts of court is a sad reminder of that more still needs to be done to instill the importance of rule of law in the institutions charged with keeping law and order.
“We call upon the security agencies to refrain from fragrant abuse of law and hope the perpetrators of such acts are brought to book as a clear and unmistakable statement that actions such as this one cannot be tolerable” the statement reads in part.
Yesterday’s incident follows a string of other similar incidents including one in 2018 that involved other suspects in the same case.
The four suspects were picked up together with their lawyer shortly after being discharged by the registrar of ICD of High Court; Esther Nsambu following their release by Justice Lydia Mugambe.
Trouble for the suspects started from the assassination of former AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his bodyguard Keneth Erau and his driver, Godfrey Mambewa. The trio was gunned down on March, 17th 2017 a short distance from Kaweesi’s home in Kulambilo, in Nakawa Division in Kampala.