KANGAROO COURT AFTER ALL ???
Few have dared so far to take retired Supreme Court Justice George Kanyeihamba to task over his acid outbursts, if not outright declaration of ‘guilt’ towards witnesses brought before the UWA Commission of Enquiry, but for the former Chairman of UWA enough was enough. He reportedly wrote to the Minister of Tourism, whose predecessor, the notorious Kahinda Otafire, had instituted the commission – in what was at the time calls a vengeful act of spite after losing a court case brought by former UWA staff leading to the dismissal of his choice chairman and board members – complaining about the shenanigans of the Kanyeihamba and the way witnesses were being interrogated, treated and called names, demanding that the minister set new boundaries for the commission and allow witnesses ‘mistreated’ the right to properly defend themselves and respond to the draft report before it is being published. Andrew Kasirye, a leading Kampala lawyer and former President of the Uganda Law Society, made his objections quite clear to a range of issues stemming from the handling of witnesses and a series of public statements made by the commission chairman Kanyeihamba, who for all practical purposes had made up his mind already in advance over guilt or innocence of those called to testify. Calling the methods employed by the commission ‘trial by ambush’ he further complained that the media’s reporting had done incalculably damage to witnesses reputations, fueled by comments made by the commission chairman and other members.
Before the commission was formally launched by Otafire, he had instituted a probe committee, which was also generally perceived to be a purpose driven kangaroo court and the report of which was widely critizised only to see the same sentiments reappear now as the commission of enquiry, protected by the privilege of judicial immunity, is winding up its affairs.
Watch this space as this saga is slowly drawing to its conclusion.