DP protests new court access restrictions

By Andrew Ssenyonga

Added 7th August 2019 10:21 AM

The DP Chief Whip in Parliament, Joseph Sewungu said the police have no right to halt people in political party colours from accessing courtrooms.

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Member of Parliament Joseph Sewungu (centre) talks to Fred Mwesigwa (right) , while Deogratius Kiyingi looks on, during the weekly Democratic Party Press Conference, a the DP offices in Kampala (Photo by Kennedy Oryema)

The DP Chief Whip in Parliament, Joseph Sewungu said the police have no right to halt people in political party colours from accessing courtrooms.


The Democratic Party (DP) has described the new police court access rules as inhumane and unconstitutional.

The DP Chief Whip in Parliament, Joseph Sewungu said the police have no right to halt people in political party colours from accessing courtrooms.

“It is only the court to proclaim or give laws on how people who want to access court premises should appear, but not the police,” Sewungu said.

The opposition political party chief whip made the remarks during the party’s weekly press conference in Kampala on Tuesday.

Sewungu’s remarks follow the announced new restrictions on people who intend to attend court.

Police issued the restrictions following a recent incident in which activists threw bottles and other objects at Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu shortly after delivering a sentence to Dr Stella Nyanzi at Buganda Road Court, Kampala.

While addressing journalists on Monday, the police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said Police had resolved to beef up security at all court premises and courtrooms following the unfortunate incident.

“Those who want to enter the courtroom will go through additional screening processes, to ensure objects such as bottled beverages and other objects are not allowed into courtrooms,” he explained.

Enanga noted that party colours will no longer be allowed in courtrooms.

However, this has raised concern among various opposition members and human rights activists, which they say is unlawful.

Sewungu warned that restricting court attires taunt amounts to a violation of peoples’ rights.

“A number of people have problems so that’s why they are moving with bottles of water and other beverages. Even judges are served with water during their court sessions,” he said.

 ember of arliament oseph ewung talks to journalists  after addressing the weekly press conference at emocratic arty headquarters in ampala    hoto by ennedy ryema Member of Parliament Joseph Sewung talks to journalists, after addressing the weekly press conference at Democratic Party headquarters in Kampala (Photo by Kennedy Oryema)


Condemns throwing objects

However; Sewungu condemned the action of throwing objects to the court officials, saying it was not proper.

“Of course I cannot say that throwing a bottle to a magistrate is good. That was wrong and we strongly condemn it,” he said.

The murder of Ziggy Wine

Sewungu used the same to condemn the kidnap, torture and murder of Michael Alinda aka Ziggy Wine who was a member of the Fire Base Crew owned by Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi.

Ziggy who was recently abducted and later found dumped at Mulago Hospital with one of his eyes gouged out, died on Monday.

“This gruesome murder is clearly politically motivated and is part of a pattern of intimidation intended to silence the voices of dissent calling for an end to the Museveni regime,” Sewungu explained.

He added that DP challenges those who continue to insist that this murder was not politically motivated to bring proof and prove otherwise.

“We call upon the police and all sister security agencies to rise to the occasion and find the murderers to face the law,” he said.

Bukomansimbi South MP Deogratius Kiyingi revealed that the party has launched the listening tour where the party president Norbert Mao is meeting DP district branch leaders.

The leaders include district chairpersons, women leaders, youth leaders and elderly in areas of Busoga, Bukedi, Bugisu, Sebei, and Teso.

“The purpose of the listening tour is for the national leadership to listen to the branch leaders and plan together with the activities of the party,” Kiyingi explained.

He added that the expected outcome of these engagements is harmony among leaders, recruitment of members and candidates and opening of branch offices to coordinate party activities.

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