Ugandan Judges and Magistrates have been advised to work in line with their judicial oath which calls for fairness and independence in course of their work.
At the 6th Benedicto Kiwanuka Memorial Lecture held at Judiciary headquarters in Kampala, various speakers praised Kiwanuka for his remarkable contribution towards the country’s justice sector to the extent of sacrificing his life.
“I thank the leadership of the Judiciary for organizing the 6th Benedicto Kiwanuka. He was highly trained in matters of law. He was a great national asset , given his qualifications and experience.” Hon Ruhakana Rugunda representing the President
Chief Justice Aliphonse Owiny Dollo in his remarks noted that Benedicto Kiwanuka was the first Ugandan national to hold that high office, was last seen alive exactly 51 years ago today.
“ We believe the cause of Chief Justice Kiwanuka’s demise was his issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, directing the Military Authorities to produce a British citizen in Court as was provided for in the law. He was flagrantly and violently abducted from his Chambers soon afterwards. He has never been seen since that date. Therefore, Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka was martyred for defending the rule of law and fundamental freedoms of the people of and in Uganda.”
Dollo further pointed out that Judicial Accountability requires that judicial actions, inactions and decisions be made in the interest of the people that they serve.
His Lordship Jotham Taremwa , Supreme Court Judge , keynote Speaker emphasized that the rule of law doesn’t discriminate between the rich and the poor , therefore the absence of rule of law can cause chaos thus leading to suffering of the marginalized.
“The Judiciary should deal with inequalities within the judicial system. It should focus on curing the underlying causes of injustice.”
Bernard Oundo ,Uganda Law Society President noted that honor Ben Kiwanuka’s memory will only be preserved through ensuring accountability and transparency.
“To ensure transparency the selection criteria should be made accessible to the general public including the qualities required from candidates of high office.
If we don’t have a transparent process we may continue appointing acting judges and Magistrates thereby ending up with acting Judiciary.”
“Its high time that the judgements from court of Appeal and Supreme court are translated into local languages so that all citizens may be able to understand them properly.” Oundo added
The 6th Ben Kiwanuka memorial lecture was conducted under the theme: “Benedicto Kiwanuka: Enhancing Judicial Accountability, Transparency and the Rule of Law.”