The judge’s daring statement is contained in his letter penned to Mabirizi dated January 3, 2021 in reply to his (Mabirizi’s) earlier letter in which he asked Ssekaana, also the head of the Civil Division of the High Court, to disqualify himself from a case in which the Attorney General wants Mabirizi committed to civil remand on allegations of contempt of court.
The case stems from Mabirizi’s alleged attack on High Court justice Philip Odoki.
“The complaint you lodged about me at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) dated February 24, 2021 has no bearing to my work and cannot be used as bar against me from handling any matter involving yourself. I assure you that I uphold the judicial oath and this has always been at the back of my mind as a judicial officer. I assure you that I am beyond your pettiness in character and approach in work,” Ssekaana stated in the letter.
The assertion that I am dying to take you to Luzira is baseless and so long as your conduct and actions are not in violation of court decorum and behaviour, the court cannot send you to prison. Therefore, your application for recusal is baseless and devoid of any merit
The judge also stated that it is not a rule that judicial officers have to greet litigants in court corridors.
“I don’t have to greet you in court corridors and it is not a rule of court. Whatever I did by ordering the registry staff to reject your application was in execution of my administrative entities as head of the division and it was strictly intended to avoid abuse of the court process and register of court,” Ssekaana noted.
In regard to his desire to jail Mabirizi, the judge stated, “The assertion that I am dying to take you to Luzira is baseless and so long as your conduct and actions are not in violation of court decorum and behaviour, the court cannot send you to prison. Therefore, your application for recusal is baseless and devoid of any merit.”
In 2019, Mabirizi and Ssekaana had a bitter exchange during the hearing of the case in which Mabirizi challenged holding of the office of chairperson of Electoral Commission by Justice Simon Byabakama without relinquishing his position as a justice of the Court of Appeal.
Since then, Mabirizi vowed never to appear before the judge again, saying he is biased against him.