The Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija has assigned 32 judges to expedite the handling of parliamentary and Local Government election petitions arising from the January 14, 2021 general elections.
According to a statement from the judiciary, hearings of 155 parliamentary and Local government election petitions will kick off on August 16, 2021 in the different High Courts across the country.
Mbale High Court will have 6 -the highest number of judges to handle 31 election petitions while Jinja and Civil Division follow with each having 4 judges.
With the new revised guidelines recently issued by the Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo, the judiciary also notes that only parties to petitions, advocates and witnesses will attend courts. The statement also notes that the parties will be notified when to appear in courts.
Where possible, the courts shall establish temporally space at the court as waiting place for parties whose petition hearing may not be ongoing at the time, and petitions shall be cause-listed for specific times to avoid crowds at courts.
However, where parties and advocates in a single election petition exceed 10 in number, the trial judges shall use audio visual facilities where it exists or use open space where possible.
As a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all parties and journalists attending courts must observe SOPs as set by the Ministry of Health.