Journalists and the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago were Wednesday morning turned away from proceedings of the Tribunal sitting at Metropole Hotel in Kampala.
The tribunal hearing a petition to remove the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago from his office was this morning surrounded by police officers commanded by Kampala Metropolitan commander Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
The Lord Mayor who turned up at the Metropole Hotel main gate at 10am escorted by 12 supporters was told by Kaweesi that he could not access the premises with any of them. The stand-off yielded no result as the Lord Mayor insisted that he would get in with his supporters.
After one hour of waiting, the Lord Mayor then drove away from the venue escorted by police cars back to his home in Wakaligga.
The hustle then started for the journalists who were recording the stand-off outside the gate. Attempts to access Metropole hotel where the proceedings were taking place were thwarted by the police. One police officer identified by his name tag as Bavakure told journalists that the room was full to capacity and he had explicit orders to let no journalist into the venue.
Kaweesi intervened one hour later to allow the journalists into the hotel premises but even then, the doors to the room where the proceedings were being carried out was closed and manned by three police officers. They told journalists that they had orders to let nobody inside as the venue was full to capacity. When prompted by journalists to repeat the same statement on record, the officers refused to talk.
Towards the end of the proceedings, the officers at the door allowed four broadcast journalists into the room and refused to let others in.
Robert Kirunda, the tribunal secretary when consulted about the regulations of the tribunal said, the proceedings are public and that any interested party would be allowed to attend. The tribunal members reserve the right to exclude the media from any of the proceedings if it is a plea by one of the parties.
Expected to appear before the tribunal Wednesday were KCCA ED Jennifer Musisi together with five other councilors for cross examination on the evidence they presented to the tribunal.
Medard Segona, Lukwago’s lawyer told local media that Jennifer Musisi did not appear as she was away on official duty to parliament but said the other councilors were cross-examined by the lawyers.
On Wednesday, the tribunal entered its 43rd day and is left with 17 days of its mandated 60 days to prevail on whether there is a prima facie case for removing the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.
Lukwago is accused of abuse of office, misconduct, misbehavior and incompetence by over 15 councillors.