City lawyer Male Mabirizi was finally arrested by police yesterday to start serving his 18 months jail term handed to him recently for contempt of court.
The arrest of Mabirizi comes exactly a week after the High court civil division judge Musa Ssekaana issued an order directing every police officer in Uganda to arrest him upon sight and be taken to Kitalya Mini Max prison to serve his punishment for the continued attack on judicial officers.
Acting Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed Mabirizi’s arrest, saying that he is currently being held at Jinja road police station waiting to be taken to Kitalya as ordered by court.
“Yes he is at Jinja road police station before being taken to Kitalya. He was arrested from Kyambogo University, Banda gate following the warrant of arrest issued against him,” Owoyesigyire told URN in a message.
The order to send Mabirizi to jail was issued by Ssekaana after finding him guilty for contempt of court for the second time. Ssekaana’s decision followed an application by the state attorney Patricia Mutesi from the attorney general’s chambers who argued that despite a January 27, 2022 order warning Mabirizi to desist from attacking judicial officers, he continued making contemptuous posts on his social media platforms against him (Ssekaana) and the judiciary.
According to Mutesi, in the posts Mabirizi accused Ssekaana of being biased, incompetent and not able to head the smallest court of a family, and one who doesn’t qualify for any award from Uganda Law Society and not even competent enough to be a grade two magistrate. Court also heard that the rest of the posts by Mabirizi were crafted in a vulgarised language.
Mabirizi had also described the Shs 300 million fine that was issued against him by Ssekaana last month for contempt of court as null and void. Mutesi thus asked court to find Mabirizi guilty of contempt of court and be committed to civil prison which order was granted.
Last week, Mabirizi while on the run told our reporter that Ssekaana’s orders were illegal. He has been boasting on social media how he do all it takes to evade arrest.
“The order is illegal because no man can be a judge in his own cause. Ssekaana having been clearly stated by Kiryowa Kiwanuka as the person allegedly abused/insulted, could not sit in the case, the same way judge Phillip Odoki didn’t sit in the case where it was alleged that he had been abused,” said Mabirizi .
The arrest has come just one day towards the hearing of Mabirizi’s application seeking to stay execution of all orders issued by justice Ssekaana against him including his conviction and subsequent sentencing to prison.
It is expected to be heard tomorrow before Court of Appeal justice Christopher Izama Madrama and all parties had already put in submissions to the application. Mabirizi had also petitioned the principal judge Dr. Flavian Zeija to allocate other pending cases of his at the High court to a different judge other than Ssekaana but he was yet to get feedback. Chief justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo recently warned Ugandans that an attack on one judge is an attack on all.