Human Rights Lawyer and the Founder of Legal Brains For Trust Isaac Ssemakadde who went viral after a heated debate with the Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko has defended the language used by critics Rukirabashaija Kakwenza and Dr. Stella Nyanzi in criticizing the Government.
Ssemakade, in the critics’ defense, said that as Ugandans under democratic rule, everyone has a right to express themselves using the language they wish to use.
“This is our country and we are supposed to be defiant. Stella’s language and that of Kakwenza is not extreme because the extremism comes from the response. So many people are using this language, the only difference is that they don't come from a place of privilege such as Stella Nyanzi who is a multi-PHD scholar, Kakwenza who comes from a Christian community in Eastern Uganda or Ssemakkade who is a learned lawyer,” he said.
“Whoever pays much attention to people like us has an interest to blanket social and cultural life to show people that there’s no pinnacle for success. We are a secular state with a secular constitutional democracy so the yardstick for measuring appropriateness of language and expression must be stripped off these things.”
The lawyer made the remarks during The Fatboy Show on RX Radio while in an interview with James Onen aka Fatboy and his Co-host Olive Najjuma. Ssemakadde came into the public eye after he insulted Hon. Muhammad Nsereko after calling him a fool and a dimwit on The Spot Show on NTV last Thursday. The insults were in response to Nsereko’s proposed bill of “strengthening” the law of freedom of speech.
Ssemakade was also summoned by the Criminal Investigations Directorate on accusations of attacking Justice Musa Ssekaana.
Questioned on whether the language used in addressing political discourse does not water down the intended purpose of the debate and communication, the human rights lawyer maintained that the language is necessary regardless.
“We actually use this language to differentiate ourselves from them. We have to be intentional about who is for and of Uganda. Those people are white people in black skins. Their desires and hopes have nothing of indigenous quality. They should stop imposing Victorian standards and imprudent behavior.”
He went on to accuse people who went to schools established by the colonial governors like King’s College Budo and St. Mary’s Kisubi saying that their thinking is the tragedy affecting the country yet despite being in public offices, they use the taxpayers money to manipulate and intimidate people.
“These people (elites) need to calm down and understand that it is not language that does the harm but actions instead. If all your lifestyle is supported by the taxes of the poor, certain people will take these things for granted and then police the people they exploit and exclude,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ssemakadde’s comrade Male Mabirizi was rebuked by the Uganda Judicial Officers Association and later sentenced to jail for 18 months after insulting the Buganda Chief Magistrates Court. Commenting on this, Ssemakadde accused the judge of being part of the “dictatorial cocoon.”
“Mabirizi is not in jail for anything but the tyrannical behavior and abuse power of Justice Musa Ssekaana. And these are the symptoms of unmitigated militarism, repression and surveillance. This used to be the preserve of a cocoon within the executive but has now eaten up Parliament and now the Judiciary. But a very important national moment of confrontation has been given to us, we have a battle ground, a stage audience and you (radio) that we are going to use to burst and thrust that judge. He will be nothing when we are done and we will be everything our parents dreamed for us to be!” the lawyer assured.
Isaac Ssemakadde is set to appear at the CID offices in Kibuli on February 28, 2022 to record a statement on offensive communication directed towards Justice Musa Ssekaana. However, he says that the decision to appear is to be made by his team of members of the Uganda Law Society.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.