City Lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima has dragged the Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng and the Attorney General to the High Court in Kampala, challenging the COVID-19 guidelines that excluded Advocates of the High court from being part of the essential services exempted during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The High Court’s Registrar in charge of Civil Matters, Sarah Langa has received this case and is yet to allocate a Judge to hear the Lawyers concerns.
Turyamusiima, who describes himself as a concerned citizen, through Wameli and Company Advocates, argues that by making the said law (Rule 8 of Statutory Instrument no.55 of 2020 under the Public Health Control of COVID-19), the Minister has made impossible and difficult for Advocates of Uganda to offer legal services during the nationwide lockdown.
He adds that during the lockdown, several Ugandans are being arrested and detained, and sometimes are presented in courts of law without Advocates to represent them.
He therefore wants Court to declare that failure of the Health Minister to include the services of Advocates of the High court among the essential services exempted under the COVID-19, infringes upon the right to a fair hearing of those Ugandans arrested during the COVID-19 lockdown contrary to the Constitution.
It further infringes upon the right to an order of Habeas corpus for those people arrested and detained without trial during the COVID-19 lockdown.
It also infringes on the right to freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment during the said lockdown contrary to the constitution.
Turyamusiima also wants court to compelling Minister Aceng to include Advocates of the High court on the list of persons exempted under the COVID-19 law to enable them offer legal services/representation to Ugandans.
He also wants an order compelling the Minister of works and transport to issue Advocates of the High court with stickers to enable them drive their private motor vehicles while executing their duties.
He also wants an order restraining security agencies like police, LDUs and UPDF from stopping, arresting, and impounding private motor vehicles of Advocates of Uganda during this COVID-19 lockdown.