East African Court of Justice Arusha, 28th March 2018: The First Instance Division dismissed the walk to work case filed by the East African Law Society (EALS) due to lack of sufficient evidence of the alleged acts against the Republic of Uganda (1st Respondent). Court said that the Applicant did not produce evidence to show which people were killed, no death certificates, which people were injured, no medical reports, that therefore such information missing showed that the evidence was completely lacking
The Deputy Principal Judge, while reading the Judgment said that, the Applicant’s case was weak and that there is no reason to find that the government of Uganda committed the acts as alleged nor were there violation of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) or Laws of Uganda under its Constitution.
Court further said that, among the evidence produced by the Applicants through Affidavits were for James Aggrey Mwamu, who brought electronic evidence and he said that he was not there, he doesn’t know what happened and therefore his evidence was not authentic and reliable. That the other 3 Samuel Muguya, Francis Mwijukye and Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda that, Ssemuju Nganda who brought a photocopies of the news paper Article, saying that Dr Besigye Kiiza was arrested and others said that they participated in the walk to work protest and that people were killed, others were injured and teargased. Court in its view said that the above evidence brought before court would not make it determine that these events occurred and that the police and the military what they did was correct and within the law, because they had to arrest the situation which was volatile.
On the allegations against the Secretary General (2nd Respondent), Court found that the 2nd Respondent (Secretary General) did not have a notice of the allegations made by the Applicant prior to the filing of the Reference; hence the court was unable to find that the SG breached his obligations under Articles 29 and 71 of the Treaty.
Court however said that, “We will not let Uganda go thinking all was okay” Justice Lenaola read. He added that, had the Court found sufficient evidence that these events occurred, had the Applicant brought credible, authentic and reliable evidence, court would have found against the Government of Uganda to have violated the Treaty.
Court ordered each party to bare its own costs because EALS filed the case in the wider interest of the Rule of Law of the Community.
The case was filed by the East African Law Society Vs the Republic of Uganda & the Secretary General of the East African Community 2nd Respondent) over the alleged violent disruption of peaceful demonstrations in Uganda on 11th April 2011, as being in contravention of human rights and therefore violating the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community in particular Articles 3, 4, 6(a), 7(2), 9, 10 and 11. That the 2nd Respondent (Secretary General) was aware of the said acts but did not take appropriate action under Article 29(1) and 71(1) (d) of the Treaty.
The Judgment was read by Hon Justice Isaac Lenaola, Deputy Principal Judge and Counsels present in Court to receive the Judgment were Phillip Mwaka (Principal State Attorney), Charity Nabaasa (Senior State Attorney) & Goretti Arinaitwe (State Attorney) all representing the AG Uganda & Mr William Arnest for the Applicant (EALS) with Michel Ndayikengurukiye (Principal Legal Officer EAC)
About the EACJ
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.
For more information please contact:
Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar, East African Court of Justice. Tel: 255-27-2162149
East African Court of Justice