By Aggrey Twesigye
Interdicted former Mbarara grade one magistrate Opio Belmos Ogwang has petitioned the civil division of high court seeking to block his sexual harassment trial before the judicial service commission.
Opio’s application is filed before the civil division of high court by his lawyers of Masereka ,Mangeni and company advocates.
He wants his trial blocked until the determination of the main suit where he is challenging the legality of being interdicted for more than five years with half pay.
Opio was appointed as Grade one magistrate on June 10th ,2008 and confirmed into service on Sept.20th ,2010 by the Judicial Service Commission. However, on April 2nd, 2015 Opio was interdicted on sexual harassment allegations.
According to the letter, the then chief Registrar Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa interdicted Opio following a complaint of sexual harassment lodged against him by a former female clerk at Kyenjonjo chief magistrate court.
Wolibwa wrote in his letter that “following such, the judiciary internal disciplinary committee found that the misconduct was grave and besides, it was the second time it was handling sexual harassment case against the same Opio.
The other case had been filed against him by an accused person in a criminal matter in 2011 in Kumi district, but Opio was given a warning then.
As a result, Opio’s matter was forwarded to the judicial service commission for action and he denied the charges against him in July 2018
But since then Opio says that the disciplinary committee of Judicial service commission has never concluded his matter and has kept him on interdiction for five years now.
The mandatory period for interdiction is not more than six months , according to the public service standing orders
But according to Julius Mwebembezi the judicial service commission Registrar for the Directorate of planning, Research and inspectorate ,the commission cannot comment on this matter because they have not yet been served with copies of Opio’s court file which is allocated to justice Musa Ssekana who is yet to fix a date for hearing.
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