Category Legal issues

Tinyenfunza did real damage to Kony but both Muntu and M7 despise him

General Tinyefuza may have sympathy from some elements of the opposition, but surely it is crocodile tears.

There are some in FDC who hate Tinyefuza’s guts so badly. You remember when Tinyefuza was moving from one political party to another ‘mobilising’ them to remove the NRM after his return from UK?

General Muntu for one despises him and may not meet him. I promised to tell you the reason and here it is partly.

Many of those former senior officers did not like him. Vivian Asedri and I were the only journalists allowed by General Tinyefuza to cover the anti-Kony ‘operation North’ when it started in March 1991 but he also soon sent Asedri away to Kampala.

One day Tinyefuza, as Minister of State for Defence, summoned Army Commander Mugisha Muntu to Lira and made him to sit for three days in Lira Hotel, refusing to meet him, while telling us “these idiots don’t know what they are doing otherwise this war would have been over yesterday”.

Mugisha Muntu was lucky that Tinyefuza finally met him after three days. Brigadier Joram Mugume, the Chief of Combat Operations was made to sit for five days while Tinyefuza made little feasts at his residence where he would invite some local leaders and some of us.

He ordered Lt. Col. Reuben Ikondere, the Division Commander of NRA 5th Division to leave his house and ‘go to Kampala and when Ikondere delayed to leave, he asked soldiers to ‘bomb that house’. Ikondere was hearing on the walkie-talkie radio and fled the house in a huff!

This kind of humiliation became too much for some of the senior commanders. At a High Command Meeting in Entebbe they complained to the Commander-in-Chief who sacked Tineyfuza and made hims a presidential advisor on Defence. He sulked for sometime before demanding to leave the army, without success, until making up again with the leadership.

Tinyefuza’s insolence did not start yesterday. Some of us watched but dared not report it in the press. One day president Museveni sent a message inviting Tinyefuza as Minister of State for Defence to report to Entebbe State House for an important meeting. Tinyefuza would not directly read his messages however confidential and preferred that the signaler reads it out to him allowed, in presence of even civilians.

Guess what he said. “Tell him (the president) that I do not have a helicopter at my disposal now and would arrive at 5pm instead of 2pm”. Yet, there were three helicopters parked and fueled ready for take off.

I one evening told him that many people were not happy about the strong hand treatment meted out during the cordon and search operations and especially that some of the arrested 18 northern leaders were seen as innocent and he simply told me “Billie stop thinking like a kid. I did not expect them to applaud me or the government”.

On the other hand, despite being heavy handed, Tinyefuza’s operations weakened Kony quite a lot and Kony never recovered until he went to Sudan in 1994 and found new allies there.

Let’s watch the next chapter in the controversial life of this General.

By the way, that ruse he pulled of changing his name from Tinyefuza to ‘Sejusa’ three years ago is nothing really. When I went into his house on Acacia Avenue Kololo in 1991, currently occupied by the Kenya High Commission as offices, Tinyefuza had a stuffed leopard in his living room and on the wall was his law degree certificate in the name of ‘David Sejusa Munungu Tinyefuza”.

So what change was this? It is like a Lango man saying he is changing his name from ‘Ogwang’ to ‘Fox’. They mean the same.

Billie Kadameri via the UAH forum

Kanyeihamba becomes emotional over being blocked to deliver petition

It’s disturbing to see this old man of the law expressing his disappointment in the way he did!!But he expresses what the real patriotic Ugandans feel, – that this country has worsened beyond the period of Idi Amin. Kanyeihamba has correctly noted that comparison.

I don’t know what took this clever man so long to realise what we have known all along, that basically Museveni did not fight against Obote to redeem this county from bad rule, but for self-interest.

The chaotic state he causes, is always to his advantage!!!!!

Ssekajja via UAH forum


There should be no doubt on the circumstances under which former exiled Gen Ssejusa returned to Uganda. Given the reasons for his overstay in the UK, the anti Museveni activities that he was involved in, his being a serving very senior army officer who had been declared a deserter and subversive, coupled by the VIP reception that he received upon return, its clear that the decision to return was his own decision subject to approval by only Museveni. Had Museveni not approved by threatening to arrest him, the Gen would either have not returned or would have returned but arrested immediately upon landing.

Negotiated return of exiles has always been ongoing though the one of Gen Ssejusa seems to be the biggest catch so far and that is why it has generated a lot of anxiety. All those soldiers from West Nile who served under Iddi Amin were allowed back through negotiated returns. The former DC of Luwero during UPC II Nathan Kalema negotiated for his return from London and lives quietly in Mbarara. Before Col. Muzoora met his mysterious death, government had initiated negotiations for his return from South Africa. What about Maj Okwir Rabwoni! Then Lt Bakarweha a lawyer who had been exiled with the Col Mande and Kyakabale in Sweden came back through a negotiated return and is now a serving senior army officer. Negotiations with LRA’s Vincent Otti went sour resulting in his death. Even those who cross from opposition parties to Museveni’s ruling clique undergo negotiations. Maj Rubaramira Ruranga is the classic example. Some other targets are simply compromised in return for being inactive and in extreme cases spying. The same applies to detainees or convicts like Tumukunde and Rwakasisi.

Such negotiations are usually mediated by family members, friends, elders etc and involves Chiefs of intelligence agencies. That is why Gen Ssejusa is not sincere when he says that there was no deal reached between him and the government. ISO Chief Brig Ronnie Balya was at the airport to meet him and there must have been other commanders with soldiers around ready to pounce on him in case he tried to breach the terms of the deal. The presence of his purported Lawyer, the landing late in the night and driving straight to his country home without causing commotion in Kampala was part of the deal. The lawyer was contacted by the Gen’s family members at the last hour prior to his landing and got approval of the the ISO chief. Otherwise without clearance, the lawyer could not proceed to Entebbe to receive the renegade Gen.

Such negotiated returns usually involve a resettlement package in monetary terms and in some cases a job depending on the profile of the target. The financial cost of Ssejusa’s air ticket, the fuel to his home, security guards, entertainment allowance etc were and continue to be met by the government. The security operatives around Gen Ssejusa may not be visible to every Tom and Dick but they are there for purposes of both his personal security and to spy on him. In the past we have seen situations where guards are withdrawn and government absconding to pay hotel bills for some returnees once government has lost interest in the target. Not all those who are targeted for luring into returning from exile do succumb; while others either out rightly refuse or simply go into hiding after eating the huge bait cash.

For Gen Ssejusa, the initiative to return must have been his own after realising that by continuing to stay in exile, he risked becoming irrelevant. As to why he did not come back on his own terms like was the case with Col. Besigye, the simple answer is that Besigye is more resolute than Ssejusa but more so they differ ideologically. While Besigye was persecuted into exile, Gen. Ssejusa was not persecuted into exile but while he was on a tour in the UK, government threatened to arrest him if he returned. Once again; “opposition to Museveni is in two categories i.e those who want to free Uganda from Museveni’s bondage and those seeking to get into power.” Given the situation, both categories are needed though the later category is prone to compromise.

Therefore, Gen Ssejusa’s return was a deal that was painfully approved by Museveni. “…he knows my address; we have been waiting for him for some months….”. Unfortunately the deal may soon be breached by both parties but with dire consequences for Gen Ssejusa because Museveni is does not honour agreements. Gen Ssejusa wants power from Museveni which power has just landed Amama Mbabazi three feet deep. He has a political organisation that he founded but as a serving army officer, the law does not allow him unless Museveni gives him an exception.


posted by Robukui


Please read this legal opinion I gave you on 24th July. I was worried then you had had allowed emotion to get the better of your normally good judgement. I told you, in all likelihood, this woman Nsenga would have a very hard task, convincing the court of her innocence. I told you very few people would believe her talke that she run down her husband in front of a previously locked gate, after it had stopped, because of a mechanical failure in the car. The defence also weakened their case by calling the Deputy Director of the CID as a witness. This totally destroyed his credibility. He could only be taken seriously if he had resigned his post and told the the court he was giving evidence in protest. In fact the prosecution made a huge error in not applying to the court to treat his evidence as that of a “Hostile Witness”. Such evidence is normally treated with great caution because the courts assume the witness has an axe to grind or a motive to lie or embellish the truth. In any event, I think the judge ignored his evidence and treated it just as that of a hostile witness.

Mrs Nsenga can still appeal on legal technicalities, in regard to her mental state at the time she run down the husband. But in the absence of satidfactory techinical or scientific evidence that a car that has stopped can, through mechanical failure, gather such speed and strenght within such a small confined area as a garage as to knock down and crush a human being is a very hard sell for any innocent bystander to swallow. I think the judge drew an inference that the gates were actually open when Mrs Nsenga returned home and she drove at her husband at speed crushing him underneath the car. She compounded the initial injury by reversing over his prostrate body.

Mrs Njenga needs a much better lawyer to handle her appeal. I think the original defence lawyers were incompetent because they should have set their stall on a defence of manslaughter and led evidnce alluding to her mental state arising out of the breakdown in her marriage which might have amounted to diminished reponsibility in law. If I was her lawyer, that is the line I would have taken. please read the example I gave you, of you shooting down Fardson Karanga in public with an UZI sub-machine gun. It is going to be a very hard sell for you to convince a court that it was an accident, evn if in fact you have a licence to carry the gun.

Thank You

George Okello

This is a very normal process in the interaction between the Police CID and the DPP’s office. Files move backwards and forwards, but it is the DPP who makes the final decision on whether to prsecute and what charges to prefer. This is because it is the DPP who ultimately has to prove the case in court.

Secondly, in a majority of borderline cases eg, murder and manslaughter, attempted murder and serious bodily harm, robbery and burglary, rape and indecent assault etc, the DPP will prefer to charge the accused with the graver offence because the actus reus of all these offences are always the same- the duty of the prosecuting attorney then is to prove mens rea or intent.

In a case like this one you are commenting on, I think you have got your understanding of the law totally mixed up. It would be a very negligent DPP who charged this woman with manslaughter and not murder. In a case like this one, it is highly imprable that a car that has stopped infront of a gate, then suddenly picks up speed and crushes a person inside the gate. This is not something that ordinarily happens. Iin fact nobody would believe such a tale. Which means, there is going to be a very heavy burden on the accused to dispel the near certain presumption that she intended to kill or cause grievious bodily harm to the deceased. I once prsocuted two muder cases in the High Court sitting in Lira, which were very sensational.

1st, an itinerant worker was employed by a petrol station to cutt off a brach of a tree that had overgrown and was encroaching on the roof. The man climbed up the tree and with his saw, started cutting off this huge tree branch. By coincidence, a motorist who was filling up passed under the tree and it is at that precise moment that the brach snapped and hit him on the head like a bullet. He died instantly. The man was arrested and charged with murder.

2nd: a 14 year old girl, in a school fight, picked up s huge stone and used great force to hit a similar aged boy on the head, killing him instantly. The boy had been beating up.

Now in both these cases, the DPP instructed me to prefer a charge of murder, which on trial was reduced to manslaughter on grounds of lack of intent/self-defence in the case of the girl (2 years youth custody- and eventually customary compensation according to Lango customs- I think the girl was released from prison after only 3 months). In the the case of the man, the murder charge was dismissed, instead he was convicted of reckless negligence or something like that ( I can’t remember the Uganda Penal Code.

The point I am making is that the best prosecuting tactic is to charge the accused with the graver of the offences that may have been committed and it would be up to the court to make a finding on the facts.

You seem to be reading some form of malfeasance or malpractice in what is in fact a very common procedure or process between the DPP and the Police. Unless you can provide any proof that untoward influence was being used, I do not see anything wrong so far in the trial of this woman.

If you shot someone with a gun in broad daylight and killed him, it would be a very stupid DPP who would charge you with manslaughter rather than murder. Even if the issue of self-defence, mistaken identity etc are raised, I think these are defences that it would be up to the court to deliberate in a trial for murder. This is why I can not understand you when you insist that this woman should be charged with manslaughter rather than muder. Running down people infront of locked gates is surely not a common occurrence in Uganda or anywhere else in the world. In fact I think this woman is going to be put to task to exonerate herslf because her tale is very difficult to swallow to an impartial observer.

George Okello

PS: I last practised criminal law 20 years ago

Ayigihugu was the best criminal defence lawyer we had during our time! We shall miss him!

I am sorry to hear about the death of George Ayigihugu. I knew him personally and professionally. He was a fearless and indefatigable lawyer. In fact, for many years, he was the leading criminal defence lawyer in Uganda. I have no doubt that he fought long and hard and true to his larger than life personality that often dominated criminal trials.

Ayigihugu was a terror to prosecution witnesses, especially in controversial murder cases where he was often the advocate of choice. In the most difficult politically charged criminal trials, Ayigihugu was always the best defence lawyer to go to.

I stood in confrontation with Ayigihugu after the fall of the Amin dictatorship. Then, a lot of the criminals who butchered thousands of Ugandans under the Amin regime were arrested and put on trial. A unit within the DPP’s office was set up to try these crimes and I worked within it. Most of the prosecution of these criminals was led by the late Amos Twinomujuni and George Ayigihugu was the defence attorney for a good many of these criminals. Here I am talking about criminals like Bob Astles, Kassim Obura and many others that we managed to arrest before they escaped to Sudan. In most of these cases, as I was a very young lawyer, my role was that of Legal Researcher, that is to dig up the law for Twinomujuni and the others on the legal issues that came up day by day as the trials went on. I had the advantage because I was also the main Legal Assistant to Justice Manyindo when he presided over the trial of Bob Astles.

I was therefore in court almost daily during most of the trials of the Amin era criminals, a majority of them charged with gruesome crimes, mainly murder, rape,false imprionment and looting.. I really wanted these criminals to be be locked up in jail and spent almost two years of my career working purely on the trial of the Amin era criminals.( Later on, many of these criminals were to be released by Museveni while others like Edward Mulindwa escaped to Canada)

I therefore had the opportunity to see Ayigihugu in action. As a prosecution, all of our cases were often very throughly researched and prepared, but Ayigihugu was a tough opponent and his favourite tactic was one of bullying witnesses and hitting them below the belt. Although we succeeded in getting convictions for many of these criminals, Ayigihugu managed to get a few of them acquitted, regrettably, including Bob Astles.

Despite his constant battles with the prosecution team, Ayigihugu was always amiable and friendly to the prosecution team. He had become balding by then and had a fairly well-spoken beer belly as he seemed to be partial to his mwenge bigere and some of his buttons were always missing.

Ayigihugu was the best criminal defence lawyer we had during that era. The other thing to note about him is that he was probably the only Ugandan lawyer to specialise in just one field- Criminal Defence Law. He never ventured into other areas of law. That’s why he was permanently in court, from Magistrates courts right up to the Court of Appeal. He knew every CID police officer in Kampala and beyond. Ayigihugu would venture as far afield as Lira and Kitgum to defend people charged with murder- that was his speciality. He knew more about post-mortems than even the medical doctors. Sometimes, the lower courts would simply take his word for it when it came to identifying the cause of death. He was also strange in that he almost always exclusively practised as a sole partner. He had the capacity to expand his practice into a multi-partner legal practice, but he choose not to do so you could therefore blame him to this extent- that unlike Obol Ochola who trained several young lawyers including Omara Atubo, Rebecca Kadaga and to some extent myself, or Katende and Sempebwa or Hunter and Greig or Byamugisha %Co, who gave training opportunities to so many young lawyers, Ayigihugu sadly did not do this. He surely could have passed on his bullying and intimidating tactics to the younger generation of lawyers like myself, but he regrettably chose not to.

May be this is something that some of you can explain to me- why Ugandan lawyers have mainly chosen to practice as sole partners or at the maximum 3 or 4. I do not know when we will see the English or American style of Law Offices that have have 100 or more partners. This means they can specialise in almost every branch of the law. When I return to Uganda, I want to open a law office of at least 50 lawyers.

But one new development that Ugandan lawyers should be aware of, and which will wake them up from their slumber is the number of UK Law firms that are now opening branches in Africa. 7 of the top 10 law firms in the world are London based. 5 of these firms have now opened branches in East Africa, including Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance. They have gone around the difficulties that local law societies place in the way of foreign law firms by recruiting their staff from the citizens of African countries who have right of audience in these countries and therefore do not have to apply to be registered to appear say in the the Ugandan courts. These law firms normally identify very bright African law students in UK Universities, give them training contracts in their law firms so that they can qualify as practising Solicitors and then send them to their overseas branches in Africa.

Remember in the UK, after obtaining a law degree, you still have to do a 1 year course at Law School ( the toughest exam in the entire world, in any discipline, be it arts or science that I have ever done, ask anyone who has attempted it), but even after this, you must then do a 2 year training contract with a firm of Solicitors before you can get registered. It is at this stage that most Africans and foreigners generally fail to enter the legal profession because very few law firms are willing to give training contracts to black people. You will remember the story of the muganda boy who became the first African to get a first class law degree from Oxford 5 years ago? He was taken up by Clifford Chance, and after his training, was sent to the Dar es Salaam office for three years. He did so well there, and has been moved to the USA- I think the intention is to give him enough experience and exposure so that he can eventually become a partner controlling their operations in East Africa. My own daughter, soon to graduate from Oxford is also taking the same route, having been offered a training contract by Linklaters.

If these law firms continue to expand in Africa, especially in Uganda, they will take over most of the commercial and banking aspects of legal practice because the Ugandan law firms simply cannot compete against them in terms of the education and expertise and the resources and back-up that their country based lawyers would have at their disposal. I am not sure if the Law Society is aware of this threat. May be they should begin to think of ways to tighten up legal practice rules for foreign law firms.

Ayigihugu was a good lawyer and I personally will miss him

George Okello.

ULS is a ghost of its former self with current leaders

The Uganda Law Society is led by weak people and that’s why the AG is having a field day: Someone should recommend John Rawls’ theory of Justice to Mrs. Jackie Mbabazi. If she is time limited, she should zero on the veil of ignorance.

And what sort of question was that about the IGP?. Of course the appointing authority appointed IGP. The same one who appointed the PM appointed Mr. Kale Kayihura IGP.

One wonders why the Monitor journalist never challenged her on such silly questions. And why now? The IGP and his kiboko team have been at it for years. Look at how the idiots and yes they idiots bordering on imbecile, AG Nyombi and Minister Tumwebaze. As Mr. Kibaki would say tumbavu kabisa. There are no worse idiots than the two. They have done everything to soil the govt. To see such idiots in such senior positions makes one wonder.

ULS president

ULS president

Folks, if the Uganda law Society was still led by the likes of the late Henry Kayondo (RIP), the late Joseph Mulenga (RIP), the late Sam K, Njuba(RIP), Dr Joseph Byamugisha or even Court of appeal Justice Remmy Kasule, that fumbling idiot Nyombi would have been disbarred or kicked out by the law Society.

The ULS is asleep so it took the principle Judge, Justice Yorakamu Bamwine to tell off the idiots. So if Mrs. Jackie Mabazais is serious how come she never opened her mouth to say anything about idiots Nyombi and Tumwebaze?

Yes. If ULS was serious, they would have kicked out the following members: AG Nyombi, Hon Muhwezi, and even IGP Kale Kayihura. But these members are still in good standing and even eligible to vote and even stand for office.

Justice Kavuma used to be famous as the husband of the former Gayaza HM and former women MP. Today he is arguably the most controversial judge on the bench.

It was refreshing for real to see the principal Judge stand up to the idiots and tell them a sit is. You know what really makes me sad is that I know the family of the chairman of the electoral Commission Haji Kiggundu reasonably well. The family used live on Salama Road. He had a brother who lives in Mutundwe and was active in construction and did very well. Today Haji Badru Kiggundu is in the same league with the Nyombis, Tumwebaze and Musisi. What is it folks drink when they join YKM’s prison? Dr Kiggundu is hell bent on installing that ka chief -yes he is anti he forged papers -as mayor.

I repeat there is no worse idiot in YKM’s cabinet than Nyombi and Tumwebaze . Tumbavu kabisa. Bakopi beyond imagination, thus the katimba.

I bet you in the next cabinet reshuffle Nyombi and Tumwebaze will be done, perhaps minister of something. How could a buffoon like Nyombi ever become AG? Only in YKM’s Uganda do you find such idiots holding senior positions.


Why can’t the Uganda Law Society summon Gen.Kayihura?

Yes ULS is on its knees. The executive is lost. On the Lukwago saga ULS is actually complicit. ULS hurriedly picked its nominee who voted as directed by that idiot Minister Tumwebaze from Kibaale. I suppose that is why ULS could never apply to the court to be enjoined. Notice also something strange that happened with all the professional bodies picking only people from Western Uganda to represent them on KCC. I think the five or so who are apparently supposed to be represented in KCC as councilors named Westerners. Coincidence or not, you decide.
But the problem is much deeper. The word here is GIGO. And that explains why the law school finally introduced an entrance exam. it is trying to weed out mediocre students who scored higher because in some schools their exam papers were filled out days in advance. This is public information in Uganda. You have people with 4A or 3As who are semi illiterate and can barely tell an argument from a mere statement.

If ULS was serous it would have voted to expel the idiot AG Nyombi from its rolls, Granted he could go to cadre judge like Justice Steven Kavuma and get it stopped or reverse behind closed doors. But it would send a powerful message. Imagine having an AG who has been disbarred by his own law body. Then they would move to other suspects and disbar then one by one.

Uganda is a funny country. Lawyers, students and even the opposition behave as if they alone can make changes. Nope. I have not seen any serious efforts to woe workers to their side. Without worker’s involvement, the opposition, students, lawyers name it cannot not usher in change.

To know why ULS is in trouble you need to look at its executive. No one can move any motion to discuss idiots within their ranks. I bet you they belong to either YKM or the PM’s camp so they take orders depending on the situation. If you will there is no third way.

That is why I chuckled when I read in the papers that some opposition members had teamed up with PM Mbabazi;s youth camp. They looked excited which goes to show the caliber of leadership in Uganda. Why on earth should the opposition side with the PM? What is it they are smocking?

I do not know whether ULS members are on UAH, but they should wake up and do something symbolic. But before that they should explain themselves. How did they pick their nominee to KCC in such a hurriedly manner with express instructions to vote as directed by the fumbling idiot minister Tumwebaze? ULS is not clean either and the Principal Judge, one of the few who has come out of the saga shining should have indicted the leadership of ULS too. He may not be like Mr. Justice Ogoola, but he is okay.

In Kenya when Mr. Bernard Chunga lost his job as CJ after Moi and wanted a practicing certificate, KLS denied him and a few Moi zealots. Sure it is harsh to deny them a living, but it is something to consider.
The KCC saga has taught us a few things. There are some courageous and independent judges in the judiciary. However, they are dominated by cadre judges who rule behind closed doors.

I would be surprised if money is not changing hands in all this. Another case that has fascinated me is the one involving Mr Katatumba’s property. The crooks are pumping in money to sway judges.

The person who has really shocked me throughout all this is General Kale Kayihura aka Mr. Tear Gas whose background was impeccable. That is why we need him in UAH to listen to candid criticism. The only slack I cut him is that he is caught up in YKM’s prison. As the influential Stanford prison study found out, even good people when put in a prison environment can behave extremely badly.

May be that is what Mr. Nyombi too will claim that he is a good lawyer caught up in YKM’s prison. So who was Nyombi before he became AG? Did he excel in law school, legal practice or what? What kind of AG calls judges idiots when he is the super idiot in government?

The IGP sent his goons, okay, police officers to manhandle lawyers trying to serve KCC with court orders. And the IGP is still a member in good standing in ULS.

Parliament summoned the IGP. It is time ULS did the same and asked him why he should not be expelled from the body. For the IGP who grew up being tutored by the late Mr Mulenga (RIP) that would be something to hear.


Uganda Law Society needs a new “Remmy Kasule” figure at the helm of things!

Sadly the ULS is down on its knees. It has lost its professional prestige- I think it now behaves like students at Makerere University used to behave when it came to Guild politics and elections- where you vote for your party candidate irrespective of his or her merits or qualifications for the role.

One would have thought the ULS would be above all that- that it would eschew politics and remain a solid professional outfit that is objective in all its comments and criticisms of the the state of affairs in the country.

In most countries in the world, Law Societies are very powerful institutions and any statements they make are taken very seriously.The Law Society of England and Wales plays a very important role in public education, and in law reform, quite apart from simply regulating its members.

The ULS used to be professional and effective when it was led by professional and enlightened people who seperated their parochial political views and affiliations from their work as officials of the Society. people like Dr Byamugisha and Remmy Kasule for eg never wore their party vests when they held high office in the Law Society. I personally dealt officially with Remy Kasule when he was at the helm of the ULS and I was the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and my dealings with him were very professional and he had the respect of the commonwealth lawyers fraternity whenever he came for meetings.

The current ULS is led by people, a mjaority of whom are very mediocre in the law and join the society to fight political battles rather than do what other law societies do,ie develop programmes of public legal education, research and publish articles on areas of law that need reform, represent the public on issus of human rights and constitutional rights, challnge abuses of p[ower by the executive, play an advisory role to parliament to advice them of the legal and policy implications of decisions they are making or debating, in other words, be the legal guardian for the public. In thios role therefore, one would have expected the Law Society to be making applications to be joined in in as a party in the numerous human rights and public interest cases we have seen in Uganda, the Lukwago case being the best example. There was nothing to stop the ULS to apply to be joined in this case as a party on grounds that it would be in the public imageinterest. Equally, there is nothing that would have stopped the ULS to launch a public interest case againts the Executive or Parliament when the two removed term limits or awarded themselves huge grants and bonuses that amounted to legalised abuse of office.

In the important case of R V Pinochet in 2001, in which the British House of Lords declared that in law, no head of state enjoys any immunity whatsoever from prosecution for crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and declared that any country in the world has jurisdiction to try the perpetrators, almost all public defenders both in the UK and internationally applied to be joined in the action, and these included Amnesty International and the Bar Association of England and Wales and the Law Society of England and Wales.

Although this case was brought by Pinochet against the British State, he now found himself facing public interest defenders,and one of the best addresses that I have ever heard in a court of law was made by Professor Yashpal Ghai ( formerly of Makerere and Nairobi Law Schools) on behalf of Amnesty International. This case has now set a legal precedent the world-over and is the pre-cursor to the ICC and similar international moves to punish perpetrators of egregious crimes who in the past hid under the cloak of State Sovereignty or Sovereign Immunity..

These are the sort of roles one would have expected the ULS to be playing. It should also be providing pro-bono services and engaging in a consultative capacity to organisations like the Law Reform Commission, The Coomission for Legal Education etc. Instead, I am so surprised to see the ULS is given a seat on the Council of Kampala City Council, a pollitical body, when the ULS itself is not apolitical body. If the KCCA needs legal advice, it can hire its own lawyers- it is not the role of the ULS to provide it with legal advice.

In conclusion, I think the ULS has become a lame-duck organisation and is a laughging stock to the legal fraternity world-wide. It will take a long time to reform it.

George Okello
UAH member in London


We celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12), and we should. Lincoln was one of the few great men who really was great. Before he became president, Lincoln spent twenty years as an unsuccessful Illinois lawyer — at least he was unsuccessful in financial terms. But when you measure the good he did, he was very rich indeed. Legends are often untrue, but Lincoln was the real thing. George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree, but Abraham Lincoln was honest. During his years as a lawyer, there were hundreds of documented examples of his honesty and decency.

For example, Lincoln did not like to charge people much who were as poor as he was. Once a man sent him twenty-five dollars, but Lincoln sent him back ten of it, saying he was being too generous.

He was known at times to convince his clients to settle their issue out of court, saving them a lot of money, and earning himself nothing.

An old woman in dire poverty, the widow of a Revolutionary soldier, was charged $200 for getting her $400 pension. Lincoln sued the pension agent and won the case for the old woman. He did not charge her for his services and, in fact, paid her hotel bill and gave her money to buy a ticket home!

He and his associate once prevented a con man from gaining possession of a tract of land owned by a mentally ill girl. The case took fifteen minutes. Lincoln’s associate came to divide up their fee, but Lincoln reprimanded him. His associate argued that the girl’s brother had agreed on the fee ahead of time, and he was completely satisfied.

“That may be,” said Lincoln, “but I am not satisfied. That money comes out of the pocket of a poor, demented girl; and I would rather starve than swindle her in this manner. You return half the money at least, or I’ll not take a cent of it as my share.”

He was a fool, perhaps, by certain standards. He did not have much, and it was his own fault. But he was a good human being by anyone’s standards and I’m glad we celebrate his birthday.

Honesty makes you feel good about yourself and creates trust in others. It improves your relationship with yourself and with others. It is not much in fashion these days to talk about the benefits of honesty and decency, but the benefits are there and they are valuable and worth the trouble. Honesty. It may be corny, but it is the finest force for good in the world, and it always will be.Do some honest good in the world.

Tumwebaze says that Lukwago wont be mayor again regardless of the court’s decision today


28th November 2013

The former Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago filed an application against the Attorney General and the tribunal investigating the petition against the Lord Mayor vide Miscellaneous Application 445 of 2013, seeking interim orders to bar myself, the Authority councillors, agents and any other persons from convening a meeting to deliberate on the Tribunal’s report and not to conduct any further acts pursuant to that report.

By this time, I had convened a meeting of the Authority scheduled for the 25th of November at 9.00 a.m. at KCCA Authority chambers. On the said date, the Authority councillors in attendance voted on a resolution to remove the Lord Mayor from office when twenty nine Authority councillors voted in favour of the Lord Mayor`s removal and three voted against. The Lord Mayor ceased to hold office at 9.30 a.m. when the said resolution was passed.

Today, I have learnt that the High Court has issued an interim injunction barring myself, the Authority councillors and agents and other persons from convening a meeting to deliberate on the Tribunal’s report and not to conduct any further acts pursuant to that report until the main cause is heard. 2

I have further learnt that the Attorney General drew it to the attention of the Learned Judge both in his letter to the Court on 26th November 2013 and in his statement before the Court today that the impeachment proceedings had been concluded prior to grant and service of the initial interim order. The Learned Judge has instead chosen to proceed and pronounce himself on the second interim order as if these facts had not taken place.

The interim injunction has thus been issued on the 28th of November 2013 seeking to stop the meeting that occurred on 25th November 2013. The interim injunction is therefore impossible to implement as we cannot stop a meeting that has already occurred. Infact the seat of the Lord Mayor has already been declared vacant and the Electoral Commission has been accordingly informed.

We are not able to implement the order since clearly it has been overtaken by events which the Court was not able to consider in these applications. We have however sought the legal advice of the Attorney General on this matter.

Frank Tumwebaze


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