By Spy Uganda
Court has ordered for the immediate arrest of lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi to serve 18-month jail term for alleged continuous attack on judicial officers.
High Court Judge Musa Ssekana earlier this month ordered Mabirizi to cough a fine of Shs300million to the Ugandan government for contempt of court by attacking judge Phillip Odoki using his social media accounts.
The above stemmed from a case Mabirizi filed against Capital Markets Authority (CPA) to court, seeking to block MTN Uganda’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) that the company announced intending to sell some of its shares to Ugandans.
On November 15th, 2021 Phillip Odoki delivered a ruling. Following the delivery of the said ruling, Mabirizi allegedly made contemptuous comments and utterances on his Twitter and Facebook which are calculated to bring the then presiding judge into contempt and to lower his judicial authority before and after the final determination of the suit in respect of court proceedings.
Upon Mabirizi’s statements, the Attorney General petitioned court seeking its power to declare that respondent is in contempt of Court. He also wanted the court to order Mabirizi to be committed to Civil prison for contempt of Court for six months.
In his ruling, the High Court Judge Musa Ssekana said the statements posted tended to lower the authority of Justice Odoki and the High Court, by suggesting that a ruling was not valid or had no legal effect and that it should not be accorded any respect by the public.
It is from the above background that Court ordered Mabirizi to pay Shs300 million or imprisoned for six months but also warned to stop attacking judicial officers in future and also meet the costs of the application.
However, Mabirizi is said to have snubbed court summons to appear and explain why he should not be jailed for violating a court order.
“Mabirizi never presented himself to court after being summoned and neither did he file affidavits to deny the allegations against him. Court has been left with no option but to order for his arrest on sight and be taken to prison for 18 months,” Justice Ssekaana ruled.
“This court has been forced to make a brief ruling to avoid further attacks on judicial officers. My detailed ruling supporting my decision will be made in the due course,” he added.
The judge’s decision was prompted by the State Attorney, Patricia Mutesi’s argument that despite a standing court order warning Mabirizi to desist from attacking judicial officers, he has continued making contemptuous posts on his social media platforms against Justice Ssekaana and the Judiciary at large thus seeking to have him committed to the civil prison as punishment for his actions.
Court further heard that in his alleged vulgarized language in his posts, Mabirizi accused Justice Ssekaana of being biased, incompetent and not able to head even a smallest court of a family, unqualified for any award from Uganda Law Society and not even for a Grade Two Magistrate.
Mutesi further explained that Mr Mabirizi in his post described the fine of Shs300m as null and void which statement she said was an attack on Court and Judiciary as a whole.