National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has rapped President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government for reportedly seeking to punish Justice Esther Kisaakye Kitimbo, a judge of the Supreme Court, over her dissenting views in the 2021 presidential election petition.
In recent weeks, the row between Justice Kisaakye and Pius Bigirimana, the Secretary and Permanent Secretary to the Judiciary, has escalated with the latter threatening never to release the former’s salary until she had explained to him why she was away from duty for many months.
Bobi Wine now says he is certain Kisaakye is being witch-hunted over her dissenting judgement in the presidential petition challenging Museveni’s election for another five-year term.
“This background shows why Justice Kisakye is being singled out for punishment,” said Bobi Wine.
“Article 128 of our Constitution guarantees judicial independence. But there are so many judicial officers being victimised for resisting unseemly State interference with how they dispense justice.”
He went on to claim that the state has over the years made sure that ‘stubborn’ judicial officers are sent to remote locations or denied promotions, and that what Kisaakye is currently facing is not new in the judiciary.
“Many have been dumped in hard-to-reach duty stations — not because the citizens that side do not deserve justice, but because the deprived conditions of work there serve as some form of punishment to ‘stubborn’ judicial officers,” claimed the NUP leader.
“Experienced and qualified officers have been denied promotion in favour of their regime-leaning juniors. You might wonder why Justice Kisakye who has spent 13+ years in the Supreme Court alone was passed over for Mr. Owiny-Dollo who was 10+ years her junior at that level. Despite churning out several locus classicus Judgments regularly cited in our courtrooms and law classes, some Judges have remained stuck at High Court level as M7’s former Ministers are appointed from nowhere to the Court of Appeal and higher.”
Bobi Wine saluted Kisaakye and assured her that he and his political allies support her. The singer-turned-politician also predicted that history will absolve Kisaakye and that she will be celebrated the same way former Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka is revered in Uganda.
“It therefore goes without saying that Justice Kisakye is being hounded for choosing to defend the Constitution and her judicial oath instead of succumbing to the whims of the bandits who hold our country and its institutions hostage,” continued Kyagulanyi.
“For that, we hold her in the highest regard and know that the future will vindicate her the same way it did the late CJ Benedicto Kiwanuka. We stand with Justice Kisakye, just like we do all such other public servants as have maintained fidelity to the law and to our Country.”
The current row between Justice Kisaakye and Pius Bigirimana began when the Permanent Secretary to the Judiciary wrote to the Supreme Court judge ordering her to explain why she was away for months after the end of her sick leave or forget about her salary. (Read Story Here).
In response, Justice Kisaakye ‘destroyed’ Pius Bigirimana, clearly telling him that she knows the law better than him since she even has a PhD in law and has more experience in legal matters. (See Justice Kisaakye’s response HERE).
It should be remembered that Justice Esther Kisaakye is the most experience judge of Uganda’s Supreme Court, even more experienced than the Chief Justice. (Read Her Profile Here).