Monday, 27 January 2014


President Museveni chats with the Attorney General, Mr Peter Nyombi (R), during the 16th Annual Judges Conference at Imperial Resort Hotel in Entebbe yesterday.
 President Museveni chats with the Attorney General, Mr Peter Nyombi (R), during the 16th Annual Judges Conference at Imperial Resort Hotel in Entebbe yesterday. The President urged the Judiciary to enhance public confidence in the system.

President Museveni has warned judges against provoking him by granting bail to suspected criminals, including those facing treason charges.
Citing the case of Bubulo West MP Tony Kipoi, who was granted bail but fled the country after he was charged with treason, President Museveni said such actions could push the army into shooting suspects once re-arrested.
While opening the 16th annual judges conference in Entebbe yesterday, Mr Museveni said whereas judges had the discretion to grant bail, they had made it a must to offer reprieve to murder, rape, defilement and treason suspects, wondering why they are in a “hurry” to grant bail.
The Constitution, the President said, states that bail “may” not “must” be granted, warning that he will be forced to have the judges’ hands “tied” so that they do not “misuse” their power. “Bail has been repeatedly given to people charged with treason like Kabaziguruka and Kipoi. You are provoking the people and me. So scrutinise yourselves during this conference,” the President said.
Mr Kipoi was first charged with treason in January last year after he was accused to facilitating Congolese rebel outfits with arms. He was granted bail in February but re-arrested in April on similar charges.
He was granted bail a second time but reportedly jumped it and fled to DR Congo—prompting the government to contact Kinshasa to extradite the legislator.
Mr Michael Kabaziguruka is a senior official of the opposition FDC party, who has also been charged with treason and granted bail by court.
Talking about his political nemesis Kizza Besigye, President Museveni said judges had made it a “joke” to granting him bail although he repeatedly commits the same offence. “With Besigye, it is like a joke. Why somebody should commit the same offence repeatedly and is given bail all the time? I will work with you to strengthen the legislation on this matter,” Mr Museveni said.
Dr Besigye has been in and out of court several times for offences largely stemming from his defiance campaigns.
The President also cited the case of former Arua Municipality MP Akbar Godi who was granted bail before court found him guilty of murder.
Before the 1994 Constituent Assembly, Mr Museveni said suspects only accessed mandatory bail after spending 360 days in jail, adding that it was thereafter revised to 180 days.
Whereas the President made no direct comment about the lack of a substantive Chief Justice and deputy, he recognised retired Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki as my “nominee” attracting cheers from the judges. “You are judges but you are Ugandans first. People were forced to fight to bring your roles back. Bail for capital offences… what is the hurry? Now I must go back to Parliament to tie your hands but why should I do that to the legislature? I am embarrassed.”