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EXCLUSIVE: Race to Replace RG Bemanya at URSB Heats Up

The race for the position of Registrar General has started after the current Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Executive Director, Bemanya Twebaze, was elected to serve as Director General African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).

Bemanya will be sitting at ARIPO’s headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe, starting January 1, 2021.

He recently told URSB he would be vacating office on December 14 to allow him make the necessary preparation to take charge of the new office.

ChimpReports has now established the URSB Board of Directors has been meeting with the senior officials to choose the Acting Registrar General.

These include Vincent Katutsi (Director Civil Registration), Patience Buhukire (Head, Legal Advisory Services), Caroline Egesa (Board Secretary) and Mercy Kainobwisho (Director of Intellectual Property).

“A number of substantive candidates are being considered to act as the process of sourcing a new Registrar General is concluded,” said a source who preferred anonymity to speak freely.

The position of RG requires a 10-year experience and a law degree.

The office bearer has to be at the level of a High Court judge.

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Looking at the power flow, URSB has two deputy Registrars General.

Alfred Mugisha is the Deputy Registrar General (Finance & Administration) while Jane Okot P’Bitek Langoya is in charge of registries.

However, Langoya is expected to retire by December 11, 2020. On the other hand, Mugisha lacks a law degree. He is a social scientist.

This leaves Egesa as the most likely candidate for RG.

She is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda with substantial experience spanning across corporate secretarial, commercial law and corporate and finance management.

Other formidable candidates include Kainobwisho, an experienced Advocate of the High Court of Uganda with 15 years’ experience specializing in Intellectual Property Business and company Law.

Buhikire also is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda with experience of 9 years in Commercial and Business Law, Telecom Regulatory and Compliance matters, Contracts Management and Legal Advisory.

Notably, during the transition period, the job of RG will be advertised externally – attracting competition from outsiders.

After the recruitment process, the Minister of Justice who supervises URSB, will formally appoint the new RG to replace Twebaze.

Bemanya served as Chairman of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) and is the immediate past President of the Paris Union Assembly (International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property).

ARIPO is an inter-governmental organization based in Harare Zimbabwe. ARIPO was established in 1976 to facilitate cooperation among member states in protection of intellectual property.

Currently ARIPO has twenty (20) member states which include Uganda, Bostwana, Kingdom of Eswatini, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, The Kingdom of Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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