Updated at 2212 EAT on Sunday 26th February 2023.
Lawyer Male Mabirizi has been released from Luzira Upper prison after serving just a year of his 18-month jail term for contempt of court.
Uganda Prison Services spokesperson Frank Baine said that Mabirizi was released on Saturday after completing his sentence. He said Mabirizi’s sentence was among those that qualify for remission.
“Remission is a third of the sentence after serving one month in prison. So he must have served a year of his jail term and that’s what the sentence required,” said Baine.
Mabirizi was on February 15, 2022, found guilty of contempt of court by High court civil division judge Musa Ssekaana. This was after the attorney general informed Ssekaana that Mabirizi had made posts on social media where he accused the judge (Ssekaana) of being biased, incompetent and not able to head even the smallest family court and that he doesn’t even qualify to pass off as a grade two magistrate.
The attorney general also informed court that the rest of the posts were crafted in a vulgarised language and that Mabirizi had described the fine of Shs 300 million that was issued against him earlier by Ssekaana also for contempt of court as null and void, which statement the state said was an attack on the judiciary.
As a result, a warrant of arrest was accordingly issued and security directed to arrest Mabirizi on sight such that he is taken to prison to serve his jail term. He was subsequently arrested on February 22, 2022 and taken to Kitalya prison before being transferred to Luzira prison.
From prison, Mabirizi filed several applications seeking to gain temporary freedom without success. In a phone call with URN on Saturday, the excited and jolly Mabirizi said he was happy to be finally be free. He said that during his time in prison, he filed a combined total of 110 cases against the government and he will continue fighting for rule of law in this country.