Courts around the country will not be open for normal business this Friday 21st September 2018, as the Judiciary holds the inaugural lecture for the former Chief Justice Benedicto Mugumba Kiwanuka.
Kiwanuka, the country’s first Chief Justice, was on this date in 1972 dragged from his chambers at High Court Kampala by soldiers of Idi Amin and was never seen again.
The Judiciary Chief Registrar Esta Nambayo today issued a circular to all judicial officers to keep courts closed on Friday.
“This is to notify you that the Chief Justice has granted permission to all courts to officially adjourn the matters of the day to enable judicial officers and advocates to participate in the event” read the circular.
Chief Justice Hon Bart Katureebe said Ben Kiwanuka’s life was taken away because of his convictions in defending the rule of law and defending fundamental freedoms of the downtrodden.
“Kiwanuka 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 life of all which paid the ultimate price with his life,” said Katureebe.
The chief justice during New Law Year event in January announced that the judiciary starting this year, will hold a Public lecture in memory of Ben Kiwanuka and that this would be an annual event on the Judiciary calendar.
The half day event to take place at Kampala High court grounds, will feature a key note address by three time Justice Emeritus Samuel W. Wako Wambuzi (1972 -75, 1979-80, 1986- 2001).
The judiciary among other things procured a bust of Benedicto Kiwanuka which will be installed at the stairs of the High court building facing the grounds.
Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny Dollo who is also chair of the event organizing committee said the day is not about Ben Kiwanuka “but rather the rule of law”
Across section of stake holders invited to the event include Kiwanuka’s family, representatives from the central government, cultural and higher institutions of learning, members of the diplomatic corps , heads of political parties, representatives of the justice and law order sector institutions among others
Prior to his Judiciary assignment, Justice Ben Kiwanuka was an eminent Ugandan politician, who was instrumental in the processes leading to Uganda’s attainment of independence from colonialists in October 1962.