By Fatia Ndirangwa
The chief justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo has stated that election petition cases will commence their hearing by 16th August 2021.
According to powers conferred upon the chief justice in article 133 of the Constitution and in directive issued by president of Uganda on 30th July 2021, the cheif justice issued a revised contingency measures to judiciary to prevent and mitigate the spread of covid19 ahead of election petition hearing.
“All courts shall where possible, establish a temporary separate space at all court to access persons or those whose cases were fixed at later time . Dollo said that only parties to the case(s), their advocates and specifically summoned witness shall attend the court. Cases where parties and advocates exceed 10 in a Single election petition the trial judge shall conduct the trial using audio virtual facilities or use open spaces at court premises where possible.” Said Owiny Dollo
Dollo has ordered all courts & Department to immediately scale up operations to 20% staff physical presence and ensure that only critical staff appear to attend to the court on daily basis.
“Conference workshops and seminars shall not exceed 20 participants untill further notice , he recommended to use virtual meetings.”
“Hearing of civil and criminal cases courts should resume the hearing. The Judicial office will continue to write and deliver judgement both physical and virtually whenever is appropriate in the circumstances of each case . Execution proceedings and processes will resume except evictions and arrests and detention of judgement debtors”
Over 104 mps electoral Victories are being challenged in court. Section 36 of parliamentary elections Act states that every elections petition filed shall be heard in an open court and the same section gives powers to court to suspend other matters before it, for purposes of determining the election petitions expeditiously .