The operations of Kotido Chief Magistrate’s court hang in balance after unidentified protesters took off with the court keys on Friday. It all started after the Kotido Chief Magistrate, Charles Yeteise fined a businessman Shillings 300,000 for transporting a lorry of charcoal from the district without a license.
Residents went up in arms when they learnt that the businessman had bought back the impounded charcoal. A group of residents comprising more than 70 women, youths and children stormed the court premises and blocked the lorry from leaving. It took the intervention of police to disperse the angry residents.
However, the protesters took off with a bunch of 35 keys belonging to different offices such as that of the Chief Magistrate, Resident State Attorney, Court rooms and cells among others. Ayatolah Kapchemut, the Kotido District Police Commander confirmed the incident. “It is true and the keys were grabbed by the protesters. We have mounted a search for them,” Kapchemut told this publication over the weekend.
He says they are investigating the incident and the motive of the attackers. Anthony Jabwor, the Kotido Resident State Attorney also confirmed that the protesters took all the keys to the court premises.
“The keys belong to all offices of court and I don’t know the way forward,” Jabwor said. A police officer told this publication on condition of anonymity since he isn’t authorized to the media, that some of the protesters took advantage of the confusion and scaled the fence and run away with the court keys.
Another source expressed fear that unscrupulous people may take advantage to duplicate the keys and access sensitive court documents. No suspect has been arrested in connection to the disappearance of the court keys.