By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: Supreme court has found a petitioner, Ivan Samuel Ssebadduka guilty of contempt of court, and sentenced him to serve three years in Kitalya Government Prison.
The genesis is when Ssebadduka filed a presidential election petition against President Yoweri Museveni in the Supreme Court which court dismissed on grounds that it (Court) lacked jurisdiction to handle the case since it was not a petition challenging the election of the president.
The court, however, found Ssebadduka in contempt of court for referring to the judges who presided over the case as ‘a council of fools’, ‘incompetent’, ‘foolish’ among other words.
“We didn’t offend you or your so-called Supreme court, because it is not a court in the first place, it is a council of fools,” reads in part Ssebadduka’s response filed in the court registry on November 7, 2020.
Now yesterday in court, the panel of seven justices rejected his abusive defense and noted that in order to protect the rule of law in the country and their mandate to serve justice, as the judiciary, the unremorseful Ssebadduka needed to first serve the three years in jail.
This was after he was asked to defend himself for use of abusive language in his petition before the justices led by the chief justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo whom he further abused terribly. The justices including Stellah Arach Amoko, Faith Mwondha, Paul Mugamba, Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percy Night Tuhaise and Mike Chibita simply looked on in surprise with no words until they made a decision to jail him.
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After the ruling, Ssebadduka was immediately handcuffed by security and driven to his next ‘home’ for three years. The Supreme court decision in Uganda is final as it is the last appellate court in the country, and unless the justices choose for some reason to review their decision or Ssebadduka gets a presidential pardon, he will be expected to serve his entire jail term.