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City lawyer struck off register

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th December 2006 03:00 AM

A Kampala lawyer has been barred from practicing law over professional misconduct.
Humphrey Rugambanengwe allegedly extorted sh14m from his client, claiming it was for a judge’s “fees”.

A Kampala lawyer has been barred from practicing law over professional misconduct.
Humphrey Rugambanengwe allegedly extorted sh14m from his client, claiming it was for a judge’s “fees”.

By Hillary Nsambu

A Kampala lawyer has been barred from practicing law over professional misconduct.
Humphrey Rugambanengwe allegedly extorted sh14m from his client, claiming it was for a judge’s “fees”.

The disciplinary committee of the Law Council struck Rugambanengwe off the roll of advocates following complaints filed by Benon Tushemereirwe Kiruhura, a businessman.

“The advocate has tarnished the image of the legal profession grossly. The committee owes members of the public, such as the complainants, a duty to ensure that it jealously guards and maintains the reputation of the profession and sustains public confidence in the profession’s integrity,” the committee said.

Elijah Wante chaired the disciplinary committee. The other members were John Mary Mugisha, Agaba Maguru and Robinah Rwakoojo.

The committee said its decision would deter other lawyers from desecrating the legal profession.
The committee will hear and dispose of five other cases against Rugambanengwe.

The lawyer faces five other offences of gross professional misconduct, which include one where he is said to have implicated the same complainant as a rebel collaborator and subsequently extorted sh10m from him to have his name cleared.

The prosecution told the committee that Rugambanengwe also refused to pay sh12m for a car he had bought from the same complainant.

The other pending complainants against him were filed by Sammy Ssendagire and four others. They are Richard Michael Ebatit, Christopher Kafure, Susan Bidandi Ssali and Christopher Sendrack Tontisa Mugisha.

In March 2006, the committee fixed for the hearing of all the complaints against Rugambanengwe after serving him with a notice through the press, but he refused to attend.

The committee served Rugambanengwe through the press because his office on Metropole House was always closed.

“The committee gave Rugambanengwe an opportunity to be heard, but he has not taken advantage thereof and has continued to engage in acts of gross moral turpitude,” the committee said, citing an incident in Masaka on July 31, 2006 when he, together with other people, allegedly tried to defraud the Masaka chief administrative officer of sh2m.

When he failed to appear to defend himself against the accusation, the committee suspended him.

City lawyer struck off register

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