Uganda Law Society Accuses Minister Norbert Mao of Judicial Interference

The Uganda Law Society has raised allegations against the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Norbert Mao, accusing him of meddling with the independence of the Judiciary.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning and signed by President Bernard Oundo, the law society criticized Minister Mao for allegedly tampering with a court order. The society pointed out that Minister Mao directed the Acting Assistant Inspector General of Police to restore a pre-existing status quo by placing Mr. Francis Ishanga back into possession of a disputed property, contrary to a court order that had been varied or set aside.

“We therefore caution the police and other government agencies against implementing unlawful directives from the Honorable Minister and advise the aggrieved parties to instead seek legal procedures pertaining to review or appeal in courts,” stated the ULS in their announcement.

The criticism from the Uganda Law Society focuses on a specific civil suit, No. 22 of 2024, involving Francis Ishanga and others versus Kellen Karemeera and two others.

This controversy adds to the ongoing criticism by the Uganda Law Society regarding various instances of interference with judicial independence, particularly by members of the executive and the top management of the Judiciary.

The society’s critique of Minister Mao joins recent criticisms of Justice Byaruhanga’s handling of disputes involving Total Energies and Tilenga Oils. Additionally, the aborted attempt to hold an extraordinary conference by the court due to this dispute drew attention.

Furthermore, the Law Society expressed dissatisfaction with President Museveni’s intervention in the Court of Appeal’s verdict on the sale of Muslim Property case and the Principal Judge’s letter to the head of the Commercial Division of the High Court, Justice Stephen Mubiru, which restrained him from hearing additional cases until pending matters were expedited.

Efforts to reach Minister Norbert Mao for comment are ongoing, and further details will be provided in subsequent updates on NBS TV.

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