By Spy Uganda
Frustrated Supreme Court Judge Esther Kitimbo Kisaakye has dragged her boss, Chief Justice – Owiny Dollo, Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana and four others to constitutional court accusing them of ‘harassing her’ ever since she took an opposite side from them during the hearing of 2021 presidential election petition.
You may remember that National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Bobi Wine in 2021 took President Museveni to Court challenging his victory in the 2021 elections but later withdrew his petition, alleging bias by Supreme Court justices who were hearing the case.
“The courts are not independent, it is clear these people (judges) are working for Museveni,” Wine said then.
Kisaakye was the only judge who stood her grounds and declared that the Court was unfair to Kyagulanyi. In her duplicate copy of her ruling (original allegedly confiscated by Chief Justice Dollo), she disagreed with the other eight members of the quorum saying they didn’t give a fair hearing to Kyagulanyi who they denied a chance to amend his petition.
She noted that she was convinced that Kyagulanyi’s house arrest prevented him from filing the petition on time and that he could have been allowed to amend his petition.
Now, ever since then Kisaakye says her bosses have jointly and severally engaged in unconstitutional acts and omissions which are inconsistent with and contravene the Constitution.
She says the witch hunt by her bosses took another level when they denied her funds for medical treatment and put on hold her salary payments without clear reasons.
”That in 2009, your Petitioner was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court and by virtue of her appointment and terms of service and support extended to other justices, she is entitled to medical treatment. The 1st Respondent (CJ) as the head of the Judiciary did not intervene to ensure that the Petitioner receives the necessary resources for her
eye surgery, treatment, travel and upkeep,” she petitions.
She says following the events during Kyagulanyi’s case, the Chief Justice removed her as the Administrative Justice of the Supreme Court and replaced her with Justices junior.
Not only the above but also her bosses have since denied her leave. She says Commissioner Human Resources Apophia Tumwine computed her outstanding leave days as totalling 181 days and submitted the computation to Hon. Bart Katureebe who was then the Chief Justice of Uganda who then approved and allowed her to take 35 days of leave and deferred the balance totalling 146 days. She says when in 2021, applied for approval of her accrued leave entitlement and submitted her leave forms in accordance with the established procedures for seeking leave in the Judiciary, she was neglected.
Kisaakye further says her driver and bodyguard have since also been denied leave allowances, her bosses no longer allocate work to her and they have since withdrawn and refused to reinstate her research assistant.
She says she has since been removed from the Judiciary and Government payroll and was not paid her salary for a couple of months now.
”Your Petitioner has been directly affected in the performance of her Judicial duties and was financially and socially
embarrassed, greatly constrained to undertake her Judicial functions and her Judicial, professional and personal reputation severely damaged nationally and internationally in her family, community, court-users and the general public,” reads Kisaakye’s petition.
From the above embarrassment, Kisaakye prays to Court thus; ”Petitioner be immediately reinstated as the administrative Justice of the Supreme Court, her leave forms to be immediately processed and her leave be approved with effect from 28th December 2021 to 26th June 2022.”
She also wants to be included in the Supreme Court duty rosters and cause lists and be allocated work to do.
Further, Kisaakye seeks; ”A permanent injunction doth issue barring the 1st, 2nd Respondents, their agents, servants and workmen from ever interfering with, tampering with, withholding funds drawn from the Consolidated Fund, and from refusing to pay Salary and other allowances to the Petitioner without first following the due process.”
She also wants damages to her judicial, professional and personal reputation from 18th March 2021 till the filing of her Petition, pain, suffering and mental anguish suffered from 18th March 2021 till the filing of the Petition, damage to her creditworthiness with her bankers for the delayed Payment of her Salary loan instalments and the Respondents jointly and severally pay the Costs of the petition.