ULS up in arms over arrest of two lawyers

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  • Ms Jane Egau Okou, the chairperson board of directors, said they are committed to ensuring that the institute fulfils its mandate of supplying quality labour force to the industry. 

A new report by the Uganda Law Society (ULS) has condemned state security operatives for arresting two of their advocates for representing a woman who had sought to stop the royal wedding of the Kyabazinga of Busoga.

In their rule of law report for July-October released on Friday in Kampala, the lawyers said all persons in Uganda have a right to legal representation.

“All persons have a constitutional right to legal representation and every advocate has a right to providing legal representation and advice to their clients without victimisation or unlawful hindrance,” the report released by ULS president Bernard Oundo stated in part.

It added: “Lawyers must be allowed to carry out their work without fear of intimidation, harassment, or arrest in the course of their duties especially by State agencies who are fellow stakeholders in the justice system.”

According to the report, Andrew Katongole of M/S Lunar Advocates and Mr Ronald Walakira of the Uganda Land Commission were abducted by unknown security operatives using the infamous van, commonly known as drone, and driven to an unknown destination.

The security operatives, according to the report, also attempted to break into Mr Walakira’s premises.

The report claimed the reasons to why these two lawyers were abducted was because they had filed a petition to the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda on behalf of their client, Ms Alison Anna, who had claimed she had contracted a civil marriage with Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV in 2016.

To that effect, the petition was intended to stop the said royal wedding between the Kyabazinga and Jovia Mutesi, which took place on November 18.

“The independence and respect for members of the legal profession is fundamental to establishing and maintaining the rule of law in any society and must never be taken lightly,” read in part the ULS report.

“ULS calls upon all organs of government and all citizens to respect advocates as they carry out their work of representing their clients. Advocates play a vital role in upholding justice and the rule of law. Advocates ought to practice their profession without intimidation or any due hindrance,” the report further read.

Other issues
Further, the report cited a number of other human rights violations such as the brutal attack on journalists at the offices of the FDC party offices in Najjanankumbi and continued forced disappearances of citizens, among others