Richard Mafabi: The Firm, Courageous Custodian of Law

Mourners in moving eulogies on Wednesday morning described the fallen Makindye Chief Magistrate Richard Mafabi as a firm and courageous custodian of the rule of law that the country will greatly miss.

Speaking during the deceased’s memorial service at the All Saints Cathedral in Nakasero, search Court of Appeal Justice, Catherine Bamugemereire described Mafabi as a humble student who kept his ground no matter what came his way.

“We were in the same law class at Makerere in 1988 and we shared the same discussion group. Whatever Mafabi could set out, he always did it and you could not divert him. He stood for the rule of law in whatever he did,” Justice Bamugemereire spoke of her former classmate.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire (L) lays a wreath
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire (L) lays a wreath

The Court of Appeal Justice described Mafabi as a warm hearted person whose caliber, the country will take long to get.

“He was a friend to everyone and open hearted that there was no hypocrisy attached to his friendship.”

Alex Felix Majeme, a younger brother described the deceased as a grass-root character who loved education so much that at one time despite the challenges he was facing, constructed a community school in his home village.

“After the lifting of his interdiction by the judiciary, my brother used his first salary to construct a community school that helped everyone at our village. He also took his children to good schools for he valued education so much,” Majeme said of his elder brother.

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe

He added, “He was a grassroot man that even after becoming a magistrate, he could stay up to late with the people at the village whenever he visited. Mafabi contributed to most of the infrastructural development in our home area either financially of through community mobilization. He was always bonding with the community.”


Firm Character

Majeme narrated that he recently asked his elder brother to step out of the Kayihura torture case but stressed Mafabi remained firm and handled the case.

“I if I were him, I would opt out of the case for purposes of conflict of interest because he was once in the bush but because of his courageous nature, he remained focused,”Majeme said.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who was part of the team of lawyers who survived lynching at the Makindye Magistrates court after hiding in Mafabi’s office said the magistrate despite the attackers of court remained steadfast   and committed to the rule of law.

Lukwago said this was the nature of Mafabi throughout his career where both faced each other as lawyer and magistrate.

“I have stood before him on several occasions as both a lawyer and an accused but respected his decisions no matter for or against me. He was a man of high esteem who stood firm during challenging times,” Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said.

“There threats against him on that day at court for no crime but he stood for the rule of law. His legacy of always standing on the right side of the law will always stand.”

The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe said there is need to emulate the late Mafabi who he said did his responsibilities as required of him.

“Let us do what we can with what we have like Mafabi did,”Katureebe said of the fallen judicial officer.


Born on January 30,1965 to Difasi Wasukira and Nandudu Perudah in Bukahengere Parish, Budadiri County in Sironko district, Richard Mafab I went to Bugobbiro Primary School,Masaba S.S  and Sir .Tito Winyi before  joining Makerere university where he attained a Bachelor of  Law degree in 1992.

Mafabi got a Diploma in Legal practice from the Law Development Centre in June 1995.

However in 1985, he dropped out of school to join the NRA bush war before later rejoining school.

He has been the Makindye Chief Magistrate and is survived by 13 children.

Richard Mafabi will be laid to rest on Friday  October 7 at Buwadda Village,Buteza Sub county in Sironko district.

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