5 May 2012

Uganda: Court Registrar Reports 'Death Threats Over Katongole Ruling'

THE Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Elias Omar Kisawuzi, has said that his life is in danger after having been threatened with death, following a judgment he read throwing Paminder Marwah Singh Katongole out of Parliament as MP for Lubaga North.

Kisawuzi told journalists at his offices at DANIDA headquarters that when he was walking from to attend the Juma prayers at Nakasero Mosque on Friday in Kampala, a man, wearing dark glasses confronted him and told him in Luganda that "okusinziira ku ekyo kyewatukoze jjo, entamu eyiyo bavuunike"; literary meaning that he would not live to regret for what he did to them yesterday, Thursday.

"I belief this man is one of the supporters of Singh Katongole, because two weeks earlier, he, Katongole Singh stormed my courtroom at the Court of Appeal with a huge gang of thugs, carrying placards accusing me of being a racist, biased and influencing the judges in their judgments against him," Kisawuzi said.

Kisawuzi said that he did not take the confrontation by the stranger lightly. He immediately went to the police at CPS where he made a statement, whose contents he did not want to divulge.

However, Kisawuzi told the journalists that despite making a statement to the police, he would not seek for protection as he did not fear death.

"I am ready to die, but I would not want my death to be attributed to anybody or my job. I did not write the judgments in the High Court or the Court of Appeal. All the time I have been asked to read what is already written and decided by the court. My only job was to carry out instructions by my bosses to whom I pay allegiance.

"Whoever wants to kill me should know that he is spilling blood of an innocent person. I am ready to die like Said Abubaker, who died for the truth. By attacking me, Paminder Marwah Singh Katongole should know that he is attacking the whole Judiciary, because whatever I do and what I did in his case, I did it on behalf of the Judiciary," Kisawuzi stressed further.

I joined the Judiciary in 1993 as a magistrate Grade One when the President signed the instrument of appointment and I swore to carry out my judicial duties without fear, favour or ill will. But I did not know that that would take me to this kind of situation. However, I want to tell anyone who would like to take my life that I am ready for any eventuality," Kisawuzi further told the journalists.

Kisawuzi, who appeared perturbed, also said that after the controversial vote re-count that took Singh Marwah to Parliament, he has written several letters to all authorities including the President accusing him all sorts of things including being a racist, not knowing that his (Kisawuzi's) wife is of Asian origin.

"Even about the controversial vote recount, Singh Marwah must know that I just delivered a statement where the Judiciary disowned the action of recounting the votes.

It was difficult to reach Singh Marwah Katongole for a comment by press time.

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