11 July 2019

Uganda: Chief Justice Summons Judge Over Unethical Conduct

Kampala — Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has tasked Mubende resident High Court judge Joseph Murangira to defend himself against allegations that he is siding with one of the parties in a land case where more than 3,000 people from five villages face eviction.

"I have received the attached complaint in which adverse comments/allegations have been made against you. Please give me your response on the allegations against you as to enable me respond to the complaints," Justice Katureebe wrote to Justice Murangira on Monday.

Last week, Kiiza & Mugisha Advocates petitioned the Chief Justice stating that they represent more than 3,000 people who are facing eviction from their land.

The lawyers added that their clients were facing criminal prosecution for resisting the illegal eviction and that there are a series of complaints against Justice Murangira for allegedly siding with the tormentors of their clients.

They further alleged that Justice Murangira on July 2, adopted a strange procedure that compels victims of the land grabbing to file submissions before completion of the pleadings.

"In light of the contents of the aforementioned complaints, our clients believe that no justice can ensue as long as Justice Murangira is the presiding judge in the above captioned application," they added.

The victims say on or around Independence Day anniversary last year, a one George Kaweesi evicted more than 3,000 people from five villages in Mubende District with the help of security personnel.

It is further alleged that some of the victims later discovered that Justice Murangira was siding with the land grabbers and that often discussed with them the victims' fate.

The petitioners are seeking the Chief Justice to relocate their case file to another judge. They also want the Chief Justice to stop Justice Murangira from proceeding with the matter and in the alternative cause the transfer of the hearing of their case to Kampala High Court.

Efforts to reach Justice Murangira were futile as our calls to his known telephone number went unanswered.

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