CJ Dollo, Nabbanja reconcile

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja (left) and Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo at High Court in Kampala on December 7, 2022. PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • They agreed to work together for the good of the people.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja have reconciled, bringing an end to their bickering over alleged attack on the independence of the Judiciary by the latter.

The reconciliation meeting, which was chaired by Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, took place at the Judiciary headquarters yesterday in Kampala.

Selected journalists were allowed into the chambers of the Chief Justice to take pictures of the two principals exchanging pleasantries before they commenced their closed-door meeting.

Also present at the meeting was Justice Minister Norbert Mao.

During a joint press conference shortly after the meeting, Mr Owiny-Dollo said they have put behind their differences, adding that they would work together for the good of the people.

“Both my sister and I, we were going to Jinja from Mukono. She took the Katosi road and I took the Kayunga one but headed to the same destination. But what the Attorney General has done is to say that there is no need going differently and reaching Jinja differently. That is why we are here. There might have seemed that there was a difference between the Rt Hon Prime Minister and myself, no, we differed on approach, we differed on methodology, but not on official difference,” Justice Owiny-Dollo said.

He added: “We have agreed that we pursue more harmonious methodology to serve our people who need our service for whom we hold these offices. To serve them better, the Rt Hon Prime Minister will continue with her outreach and political programmes. That is her mandate and when she discovers anything that pertains to the administration of justice, she will let me know and we will handle it.”

The Prime Minister said she has always had a good relationship with the CJ, adding that they would continue working together harmoniously.

“I want to promise you that we are going to work together for the betterment of our country. We are all trying to see that a common person is served better and that is all. Thank you so much,” she said.


Background

The strained relationship between Mr Owiny-Dollo and Ms Nabbanja started last month when she stormed Mengo Court where she rescued a widow, Ms Gertrude Nalule from prison, where she had been jailed for failure to pay a Shs2.8m debt.

However, the actions of the Prime Minister did not please the head of the Judiciary, who said it  amounted to attack on the independence of the Judiciary by the Executive arm.

While addressing the magistrates who had gathered in Kampala about a fortnight ago, the Chief Justice asked the Prime Minister to stay in her lane and not to interfere with the judicial work.

He branded Ms Nabbanja’s actions as misplacement of her zeal.

“…But I also want to commend the Prime Minister for her zeal, except that this time, it was misplaced. We hear about many things, such as Isimba dam being closed two months after it was commissioned, that is the place where she should be going,” he said.

The Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, in his remarks, tasked the three arms of government to work together.

“We have heard so many things you have written in a couple of weeks about what transpired in court. What we need to put into clear perspective is that both the Judiciary and the Executive, are working together for a better country and for the purpose of a common man. So today [yesterday], we were really having a discussion on how, the purpose for which the Judiciary and Executive exist are the same,” he said.

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