MABIRIZI MOVES TO BLOCK M7 BAIL BAN PROPOSAL IN COURT
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By Joel Mugabi
Perennial litigant Hassan Male Mabirizi has filed an application for judicial review against a cabinet decision to ban the suspected offenders’ right to bail and to appear in court within 48 hours.
In recent months, President Museveni has intensified his move to ban bail and police bond for suspected capital offenders such as murderers and defilers. Last week, Museveni chaired a cabinet meeting that endorsed this move that the opposition and civil society have criticized and termed as a pretext to aid political persecution.
Now, in his application before the High Court in Kampala, Mabirizi is seeking a number of orders and declarations. The city lawyer wants the temple of justice to declare that the cabinet memorandum titled ‘Release on police bond or court bail: Recommendations for reform’ drawn and presented to cabinet by the Attorney General on October 06, 2021 proposing prohibition of bail for persons facing charges triable both by Magistrates and High Court or only by High Court, and increasing the time of being in custody before presented in Court from 48 hours to 48 business hours , as well as the October 15, 2021 cabinet decision adopting the same memorandum are “illegal, ultra vires the functions of Attorney General and Cabinet, procedurally improper, irrational and unreasonable.” He is also seeking an order of certiorari quashing the cabinet memorandum and its proposals.
Mabirizi also wants court to issue orders prohibiting as well as a permanent injunction restraining Parliament or any Uganda government official or agency from dealing with and/or implementing the cabinet memorandum and its proposals or recommendations on bail and police bond. He also wants court to award him general, exemplary and aggravated damages for inconveniences caused by the state.
In his argument, Mabirizi notes that the Attorney General (the respondent in this application), is a minister, who took oath to protect the Constitution and should therefore not initiate a process to derogate inherent human rights.
The youthful lawyer also accuses Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka of failing to carry out reasonable stakeholders’ and public participation before drawing and presenting the cabinet memo on bail and police bond ban (which the applicant says is irrational, unreasonable and devoid of commonsense).
Mabirizi further argues that cabinet, whose members swore to protect the Constitution, has no function to initiate, introduce and transmit proposals intended to derogate fundamental human rights and freedoms, and like the AG, did not carry out reasonable stakeholder and public participation before arriving at their decision.
“The impugned decisions are illegal, ultra vires the functions of Attorney General and Cabinet, procedurally improper, irrational and unreasonable,” added Mabirizi. “It is fair, equitable and in the interest of protecting fundamental Human Rights and freedoms that the application is allowed.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us email@example.com).