Courts to close on Friday to honor late Benedict Kiwanuka

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

Ugandans courts all over the country will on Friday close to honor of Uganda’s first prime minister and first black Chief Justice Benedict Kiwanuka.

The Judiciary will on Friday September 21 hold an inaugural lecture for  the former Chief Justice, on the same date, 46 years ago (1972),  when Kiwanuka was dragged from his chambers at the High Court in Kampala by soldiers of the late  Idi Amin  and has never been seen again.

The judiciary Chief Registrar, Esta Nambayo on Wednesday issued a circular to all judicial officers asking them to keep courts closed on Friday.

“This is to notify you that the Chief Justice has granted permission to all courts to officially adjourn all matters for the day, to enable judicial officers and advocates to participate in the event,” the circular read in part.

According to the Chief Justice Bart M. Katureebe, Kiwanuka’s life was taken away because of convictions in defending the rule of law and defending the fundamental freedoms of the downtrodden.

“Kiwanuka’s life is worth commemorating, especially as the Judiciary assumes a heightened and pivotal role in nurturing and protecting the rule of law and the truth. He fiercely and above self, protected the rights of all for which he paid the ultimate price with his life,” said Katureebe.

Speaking during this year’s New Law Year event in January, Katureebe announced that the Judiciary, starting this year, will hold a public lecture Kiwanuka’s memory adding that it will become an annual event on the Judiciary’s calendar.

The half-day event to take place at the Kampala High Court grounds, will feature a keynote address by three time Chief Justice Emeritus, Samuel W. Waako Wambuzi (1972-75, 1979-80, 1986-2001), for his departed predecessor.

The Judiciary has, among other things, procured a monument for Benedicto Kiwanuka, which will permanently be installed at the stairs of the High Court building, facing the grounds.

Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, who is also chairperson  of the event organizing committee, said the day is not just about Kiwanuka, “but rather the rule of law which will continue to triumph over evil”.

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