The situation at Makindye Chief Magistrates’ Court turned violent this afternoon as supporters of the Police Chief (IGP)Gen. Kale Kayihura resorted to throwing stones at the lawyers for the complainants.
Abudallah Kiwanuka, one of the lawyers was stoned, while the lead counsel and Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was holed up inside the magistrates chambers but was later freed after police tried to get the lawyers to safety one at a time.
The IGP and seven of his commanders were to appear before court this morning but nver showed up and no reason was given to court.
Relatedly, the three youth who filed the petition in court last month to have Gen.Kayihura and his officers summoned for alleged torture have also not appeared. The trio had initially claimed to be part of the group of opposition Forum For Democratic Change supporters who were clobbered by police officers as they celebrated the release from jail of former presidential candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye.
Yesterday the three; Andrew Sebitosi, Rodgers Ddiba and Joseph Kaddu called a press conference held at Makerere University in which they accused some high ranking government officials of bribing them to give false testimony against Kayihura in court.
However, they were represented by a team of over ten lawyers who informed court that they had reliable information that their clients were under immense pressure and lived in intimidation from the public.
At exactly 10:00am, Chief Magistrate Richard Mafabi entered court and the case file of Uganda Vs Gen Kayihura and 7 others was read but no accused person took to the dock, despite objections by prosecution.
Instead, the magistrate overruled the prosecution’s objection and allowed the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) represented by Happiness Ainebyona time to make a formal application requesting to take over proceedings of this case.
The lawyers had asked court to reject the DPP’s request which had been presented in a letter dated 9th August, 2016 saying the law requires the DPP to either make an oral or formal application to court for purposes of taking over private prosecutions.
The magistrate said the constitution mandates the DPP to take over criminal prosecutions in this country.
The lawyers had also cited fears that once the DPP takes over, he will order police to investigate the alleged torture incidences yet police cannot investigate itself.
The case has been adjourned to the 29th /August for court to hear and determine whether the DPP should take over these proceedings.
Outside the court premises, Gen. Kayihura’s supporters held placards and kept chanting and praising him in protest of his court appearance.