The Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija has assigned 32 Judges to handle 155 petitions arising from the just concluded general elections. According to the Judiciary Public Relations Officer, Jamson Karemani, they do not want to reveal the identities of the judges in fear of attempts by politicians to bribe them.
Karemani told journalists at Uganda Media Center on Tuesday morning that the Judiciary received 104 petitions related to the election of Members of Parliament and several others from Local Council government elections. The petitions will start on August 16th 2021, according to Karemani.
Karemani further explained that the Judiciary has allocated UGX 1.2 billion to hear the petitions within 30 days as stipulated in the laws. According to him, Mbale High Court Circuit has 31 petitions, the highest number and therefore has been allocated six judges, followed by Jinja Circuit with four judges and Civil Division, which has been merged with Luwero Circuit, with 4 Judges as well.
According to Karemani’s press statement, Fort Portal High Court has been allocated three Judges, Gulu, Mukono, Mpigi, Kabale and Lira High courts one judge each. Masaka, Masindi, Mbarara and Soroti High Courts have been allocated two judges each.
It should be recalled that on August 3rd, 2021, the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo issued guidelines that will be followed during the hearing of the election petitions.
“Only parties to the petitions, advocates and witnesses specifically summoned shall attend court. Where the parties and advocates in a single election petition exceed 10 in number, the trial Judge shall use audio visual facilities where it exists or use open space where possible”, Owiny-Dollo’s directives read in part.
Media houses interested in covering these petitions are expected to seek accreditation from the registrar of a specific court in consultation with the Public Relations Officer, according to Owiny-Dollo.