Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | City Lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned the East African Court of Justice over the recent extra judicial killings of terrorism suspects in the country.
In his petition filed in the East African Court of Justice in Kampala Subregistry , Mabirizi wants the court to declare that it is unlawful for Uganda government’s security agencies to kill someone when that death has not been sanctioned by a competent court of record.
According to his records before Court, Mabirizi lists six people who have reportedly been killed by the security agencies between November 17th and 19th 2021 under suspicious circumstances during counter terrorism operations following the recent twin bombings at Central Police Station Kampala and IPS building.
He mentions Moses Mugamba Mudasiru aka Kalyowa alias Moze who was killed from Bwaise and four others who were shot dead from Ntoroko District on allegations that they were suspected members of a terrorist group, Allied Democratic Forces -ADF.
These include Yasin Atindya alias Dan Senabulya , Musa Byaruhanga Bahemuka, Joshua Mathias Turikimanya, Joseph Bagonza and Sheikh Muhammad Kirevu alias Abbas Kirevu who was shot on November 18th 2021 in Nsangi in Wakiso District.
The Uganda Police Force has been saying that the said people who were killed were either violent to the arresting officers or were trying to resist arrest.
However, Mabirizi’s list excludes other four terrorism suspects who were shot dead during the operation to arrest the suspects implicated in the murder of General Katumba Wamala’s daughter Brenda Nantongo and his driver Haruna Kayondo in June 2021 and two others who were gunned down on allegations that they wanted to attack mourners at Lt General Lokech’s burial with bombs. This would otherwise bring the total number of terror suspect shot dead within a spate of five months to 12.
But according to Mabirizi’s affidavit supporting the case, he is quoting the statements made by the Uganda Police Force’s Spokesperson Fred Enanga who reportedly confirmed that four suspected ADF members had been killed in Ntoroko and that after the twin bombing where three suicide bombers had reportedly died in the explosion; and that the security had pursued a fourth suicide bomb attacker, identified as Moze and cornered him at Bwaise, shot and injured him, and immediately after, recovered an unexploded improvised explosive device on him.
“I know that the said Moze, whose full names are Mugamba Moses Mudasiru aka Kalyowa aka Moze shortly succumbed to bullet injuries inflicted on him by Uganda Police Force, Uganda People’s Defence Forces and Intelligence Services”, reads the affidavit in part.
Mabirizi further contends that it is unlawful and contrary to the fundamental and operational principles of the East African Community where Uganda is a signatory for the government’s security agencies to shoot and kill suspected criminal instead of taking them to courts of law.
To support his arguments, Mabirizi is quoting Article 22(1) of the Constitution of Uganda which states that ” no person shall be deprived of life intentionally except in execution of a sentence passed in a fair trial by a court of competent jurisdiction in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Uganda and the conviction and sentence have been confirmed by the highest appellate court”.
Mabirizi says by killing the said suspects the aforementioned law was violated as well as the Constitutional provision that says a person shall be presumed innocent until proven to be guilty.
But asked as to why he has opted to file a case in East African Court not in Ugandan Courts, Mabirizi told Uganda Radio Network that there is a lot of frustration the way how Ugandan courts handle cases of human rights and cases related to the state killing its own people. He says that some Ugandan Judges threaten to arrest litigants and some mishandle human rights cases thereby making it difficult for one to access justice.
However, besides this, Mabirizi states that the East African Treaty allows the people from the member States to file cases there as a first instance court not necessarily going to it as an Appellate Court.
As such, Mabirizi now wants the East African Court of Justice to declare the said killings unlawful and consequently compensate the families of the killed terror suspects for the damages and inconveniences caused to them.
The Attorney General who is listed as the only respondent in this case is yet to be summoned to file his defense to the case before it can be fixed for hearing.