Apologise or Face Jail! EAC To Drag Lawyer Mabirizi to Court Over Emblem Misuse

EAC Secretary General Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko (L) and City Lawyer Male Mabirizi (FILE PHOTO)

Arusha – The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat has threatened legal against Uganda litigant, city lawyer Male Mabirizi over misuse of their emblem.

In a statement issued Wednesday, September 16, EAC Secretary General Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko revealed that litigant Male Mabirizi was using EAC emblem and photos of judges in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) to foster personal agenda.

“The EAC has learnt with dismay the misuse of its emblem by a one Mr. Male Mabirizi, a litigant in a matter before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ),” SG. Amb. Mfumukeko said in a statement.

Amb. Mfumukeko added: “Mr Male Mabirizi is illegally using the Community Emblem and photographs of the honourable judges of the EACJ, among others, to raise funds for personal purpose.”

Mabirizi petitioned EACJ to invalidate Constitutional Amendment Act 2018, which endorsed presidential age limit removal in the Constitution.

Mabirizi asserts that the entire tabling, debating, and passing of the bill, was procedurally defective. The contentious Article 102(b) prescribes on term limits.

The statement cautioned the public and revealed that Mabirizi’s use of the designate’ were felonies in violation of the law and stature of the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat.

“The Community wishes to inform the public that Section 7 and 8 of the Community Emblems Act, as amended, expressly prohibit the unauthorised use of the community emblem. Section 7(1), thereof provides that ‘no person shall, without the permission of the Council of Minister notified in the Gazette, use or display the community Emblem,” read the statement.

Amb. Mfumukeko revealed Mabirizi’s actions call for the evoking of section 8 of the gazette attracting a conviction by a fine not exceeding USD 3,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.

The Secretariat sustained that while the Community set up the EACJ as a neutral arbiter for disputes between parties, it condemned the abuse of its emblem, misuse of the photographs of the Judges and the derogatory language that Mr. Male Mabirizi has used against a sitting Head of State.

The EAC Secretariat demands Ugandan Litigant Male Mabirizi writes an apology to the Community and withdraws the said advert immediately. .

On July 14, five judges at the Arusha-based court in Tanzania, through video-link, heard the final submissions from Mabirizi and Uganda Attorney General (AG) William Byaruhanga.

EACJ Principal Judge Monica Mugenyi explained that a decision time would be communicated after the Judges satisfactorily are ready.

“We will definitely look at every issue carefully and deliver our judgment on notice,” explained Mugenyi.

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) set September 30 to deliver its verdict in the Age limit appeal lodged by city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi at the Arusha-Tanzania based court in May this year.

Lawyer Male Mabirizi delivers documents for a petition in court

The judgment will be delivered via video conference as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 pandemic, according to the judgment notice issued by the court’s registrar Yufnalis Okubo dated August 5, 2020.

“Take notice that the above reference is fixed for the delivery of judgment via video conference on September 30 from 9:30 am. You are hereby required to appear in this court via video conference and abide by the guidelines for video conferencing proceedings,” the notice reads in part.

The judges include Ugandan judge Monica Mugenyi, a justice of the Court of Appeal. Mugenyi is the principal judge at the regional court first instance division. Others are Dr Charles Nyawello, Audance Ngiye, and Charles Nyachae.

President Museveni addresses the nation recently (PHOTO: Courtesy)

Early September 2020, the City lawyer Male Mabirizi petitioned the high court, seeking to challenge President Yoweri Museveni’s directive on idle and disorderly.

President Museveni in a letter dated September 30, ordered for the immediate release of all people charged with being idle and disorderly across the country.

The letter was addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola and copied to the Vice-President, Prime Minister, NRM secretary general, minister of internal affairs and the Attorney General

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