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Save Bugoma Campaign: CSOs Petition Principal Judge

Environmental Activists under Save Bugoma Forest Campaign (SBFC) have petitioned Principal Judge Flavian Zeija protesting a manner in which High court handled the case in which they sought remedies against National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) for giving out part of Bugoma Forest to Hoima Sugar Factory.

In their petition copied to the Chief Justice, the CSOs contend that it was wrong for the trial judge to deliver the ruling to other individuals who were not parties and ignored (Water and Environmental Media Network (U) Limited) the petitioners.

Dickens Kamugisha, the Chairperson of Save Bugoma Campaign says they learnt of the case through Facebook and Tweeter pages of NEMA and later received a copy from one of the staff of Hoima Sugar Works.

“It was not until 16.00hrs, of the same day, that the said ruling was availed to us the parties; it is extremely strange, unbecoming and unprofessional for a Judicial officer.”

Moreover, he says, the copy was sent on mail without the judge’s signature which left them wondering about the true author.

“In the premise my Lord, we believe that the above commissions and or omissions by the said judicial officer occasioned a miscarriage of Justice and thus seek your intervention to reign on the same so that such insensitive decision do not see the light of day in future and lead to more violation of our constitutional rights.”

Although these have already filed their appeal, they asked for Principal Judge’s intervention because they are worried that their matter may delay to be heard and in the process part of the forest may be cleared.

In his ruling delivered on 2nd October 2020 High court judge Musa Ssekaana declined to grant an interim injunction on grounds that the petitioners had not involved Hoima Sugar Limited yet it is a key stakeholder.

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