Lawyer Ssemakadde Defies Law Society, Refuses To Take Down Controversial Tweet Against New DPP And Apologise Over It
Maverick human rights and public interest Lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde has adamantly responded to a Uganda Law Society (ULS) statement calling upon him to delete a controversial tweet he levelled against the new Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Jane Frances Abodo on Monday after an ailing Mityana MP Francis Zaake was charged with disobedience of lawful orders, allegedly for distributing food contrary to presidential guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Describing her as just ” another rotten tomato ” and ” puppet ” Mr Ssemakadde tweeted: ” If you had thought ‘Justice’ Jane Frances Abodo would be more sensible and impartial than her predecessors, think again ” adding:
” The only difference being that she has a vagina and comes from Karamoja ”
UPDATE: If you'd thought that "Justice" J F Abodo would be more sensible & impartial than her @ODPPUGANDA predecessors, think again. She's just another rotten tomato. The only difference being that she has a vagina & comes from Karamoja. JUST ANOTHER PUPPET! #OmwavuWakufa pic.twitter.com/JrijgH3tUb
— Isaac Ssemakadde (@IsaacSsemakadde) April 27, 2020
The statements have ever since drawn a myriad of mixed reactions from members of the legal fraternity and the public.
Morality is not language of activism. Activists thrive on questioning norms, turning them upside down. See, it is "moral people" that have tortured @ZaakeFrancis to pulp. It is "nobel" men and women who have allocated themselves USH900b supplementary budget for COVID-19.
— Yusuf Serunkuma🌹 (@YusufSerunkuma) April 29, 2020
On Wednesday, the Uganda Law Society issued a statement condemning Mr Ssemakadde’s comments and called upon him to delete the controversial tweet saying it could amount to ” professional misconduct”
” As members of this noble profession, we should never at any point be seen to undermine the dignity of the Bar in the name of populism or disgruntlement. Our members are required to always maintain the decorum worthy of their skill and training.
” There is no room for statements that are or can be interpreted as sexist, derogatory or sectarian. We are surely above that.
” We urge and hope that Counsel Ssemakadde shall immediately bring down the impugned post” The Statement written by Mr Simon Peter Kinobe, the Law Society President read in part.
However, through his lawyers of Maxim Advocates, Mr Isaac Ssemakadde has written back to the Law Society President stating categorically that he will not apologise over his controversial statements or withdraw them arguing they are ” protected opinion.”
” The tweet at issue constitutes protected opinion and does not reasonably imply what you or the Judge/Prosecutor and her predecessors allege. In response to your request for an apology and retraction, our client’s answer is ‘No.’ ” The letter from Maxim Advocates signed by the firm’s Managing Partner Ms. Namahe Sheila and seen by the Legal Reports reads.
Mr Ssemakadde says in response to the Law Society’s claim that his statements may amount to professional misconduct and thus connoting disciplinary action that he is ” professional but no push over. ”
” In response to your other threats, it should profit you to recall that our Client has previously sued the Uganda Law Society and Uganda Law Council and emerged victorious on both occasions. He is therefore professional but no push over ” Ssemakadde’s Lawyers say.
Ssemakadde further attacks the Law Society’s reaction against his statements as not borne out of due process suggesting it is a function, instead, of some sort of personal vendetta heralding court action.
” It should also profit you to inquire whether your purported condemnation of our client without a fair hearing is an institutional or personal act because we have instructions to sue ” His Lawyers’ letter reads.
The Law Society’s reaction to Mr Ssemakadde’s sentiments has also brought into question the Law Society’s priorities as a professional body mandated to advise the Government and the public on matters to do or related with the law as some members of the legal profession and public querry whether it was necessary to condemn Ssemakadde without (if at all) condemning the way the MP Francis Zaake’s case was handled.