On Tuesday, the head of government business Premier Robinah Nabbanja armed with media and her security detail stormed Mwanga II Court in Mengo, Kampala and paid Shs2.8m, rescuing Ms Gertrude Nalule, who was on the verge of losing her plot of land and house at only Shs10m in the process.
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Although the move earned Nabbanja heaps of praise from the public for acting humanitarian by saving a lady whose property had been annexed in a court order, things did not go well with the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo who perceived it as a direct attack on the independence of the institution of the judiciary. Sources say an embittered Dollo got his telephone and immediately called the magistrate to explain why he conceded to executive pressure and overturned a court ruling he had made.
“I have given the magistrate up to 10am today (yesterday) to give me a full account of what exactly happened, how the prime minister came into play. We shall thereafter, issue a reaction and we shall be firm,” the Chief Justice said yesterday by telephone. “I don’t want that nonsense of the executive wing or parliament to meddle in our affairs as the judiciary. Serve by the oath of allegiance and you’ll be assured of my support,” Dollo added.
The matter had been handled by Magistrate Amon Mugezi.
The head of the Judiciary has wondered why the prime minister could not call the Chief Justice or the Principal Judge to have any issues resolved rather than seem to be seen chairing court as she did.
Article 128 of the Constitution gives the Judiciary independence as it performs its duties.
Sub-section 3 of same Article 128 demands that all organs and agencies of the State shall accord to the courts such assistance as may be required to ensure their effectiveness.
According to Dollo, Nabbanja had to leave the mother of 6 to serve her six months jail term and lose her only plot of land to the money lender.