The President’s Man: Justice Mike J. Chibita
“I had never met the president. I was picked by my supervisor; so, I went, picked my tour there and I finished [and] came back. So, it is not that the president has groomed me because I met him when I was somewhere in my career. It is true that I picked a leaf from his work ethic – he is a hardworking man and if Ugandans picked his work ethic, we would be far. But to say that I am a cadre or puppet, that is not true. You just need to ask people who have associated with me: I am a professional lawyer and I have been a professional judge” – Mike Chibita interview with the Observer in October 2013 (Sulaiman Kakaire – ‘Chibita: I am a professional’ 30.10.2013, The Observer).
That lawyer Mike Chibita now gets appointed to the seat of the Supreme Court is just a justification to fix the friendly judges for the General Election of 2021. Chibita has been the Director of Public Prosecution since 2013. The DPP has followed orders from “high above” and been a loyal man from the side of prosecution, if it meant putting Besigye behind bars or pinning charges on opposition leaders. Chibita has done that as the noble and “good lawyer” he is.
Between 2008 to 2013, he worked as judge on the High Court before appointed the DPP. Like he had already worked as Private Secretary for Legal Affairs, in the Office of the President for seven years at the State House between 1996 to 2003. So, his been in close association with the President and the upper echelon
So, the now appointed judge to Supreme Court just happens in advance of the General Election. This seems planned and seems to give an edge, to have someone the President can trust and knows is eligible as well. It is not like Chibita isn’t a career lawyer and doesn’t have the credentials, but his not picked because of his rebellious acts or independence. His been a man of the code and following the orders from high. Like for instance in late 2016, the President directed Chibita to drop charges against Taxi Operators in Kampala, which he did. Therefore, the President knows what he gets from this man.
Like the man should in 2018 have answered for this: “ The Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered the Police to compile and submit all files related to torture of victims in custody for them to be able to institute a case. Lawyers Erias Lukwago and Asuman Basalirwa who are representing suspects who have suffered at the hands of violators of human rights believe that the DPP’s directive is a mere statement” (NTV Uganda, 24.08.2018). This is currently the state of the rule of law, which the lawyer and high ranking official has supported over the years. Because, it is lack of will to prosecute the ones who are violating the law from the state side. The DPP says his dropped 10 cases a day, most likely the ones who are in-connection with other high ranking officials within the government and the State House. Since, only the small fish or opposition gets handled. Not like the DPP or the state has dropped cases against Besigye or Bobi Wine of late. Neither Dr. Stella Nyanzi or anyone else in his term. Mike is a loyal dude and that shows of what his done of late. Even sent Besigye directly to Luzira. Because, he wanted to show loyalty as well.
We knows how he thinks he can sway opinion, when he wrote this: “Many Ugandans, for whatever reason, are quick to believe in conspiracy theories. Many citizens think that judicial officers receive
phones calls from State House telling them how cases should be handled. I suppose such occurrences are possible, but I never experienced anything like this during my time as a judge.
Political pressure on judicial officers is more likely to be applied through other means. One particularly effective way of applying political pressure concerns the power of the purse. In Uganda the funding of the judiciary is determined and conducted by the other two arms of government” (Mike Chibita – ‘JUDICIAL ETHICS: THEORY AND PRACTICE’ article from “Legal Ethics and Professionalism – A Handbook for Uganda” D. Brian Dennison / Pamela Tibihikirra-Kalyegira (Editors) 2014).
So with the knowledge of this and his many roles within the administration over time. From his time in the Uganda Revenue Authority to the State House, at the Office of the Auditor General and the Director of Public Prosecution, not to mention the High Court and now the Supreme Court.
I wouldn’t believe this appointment would happen, unless the President was assured. That when he calls, when he directs Mike, he will and listen. Not to forget be compensated for doing so. Especially, in concern of possible Election Petitions in 2021. Because, if there are anything happening. The Supreme Court is filled with friendly, loyal faces like Chibita. Who will not throw the President under the bus, but follow the code and the directions made. That is who this man is.
That is why he has complied and followed, that is why his been directed and have been elevated. Because, his follows and does what needs to be done. Not because his the greatest person on planet earth. Neither, because of his faith or his work ethic. It is because he knows his place and knows how to play it. From making gestures to everyone at the State House, to be dropping charges as the DPP on the orders of the President. He knows when to act and when to react. Peace.