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Friday,July 03,2020 03:23 AM

Don't underestimate me - Deputy AG

By Andante Okanya

Added 20th February 2020 05:29 PM

Kafuuzi took the oath of office on February 12, after Parliament Appointments Committee certified his capability to serve as a senior government lawyer.

Don't underestimate me - Deputy AG

Kafuuzi took the oath of office on February 12, after Parliament Appointments Committee certified his capability to serve as a senior government lawyer.

Byaruhanga, Kamuntu, and Kafuuzi at the handover ceremony. Photos by Godfrey Kimono

JUSTICE

The new Deputy Attorney General(DAG) Jackson Kafuuzi, has said those underrating his capability, are in for a huge shock.

Kafuuzi says beneath the humble exterior, is a resolute person who is as tough as nails. He made the remarks on Thursday at the Handing over ceremony when Kafuuzi formally took over office from Mwesigwa Rukutana.

"I am a humble person. But I am not naive and ignorant," said the DAG who is also Kyaka South MP.

Kafuzi downplayed the assumption that he is timid and not well-grounded for the rigours of the AG office.

"During my vetting, it came up several times. People think I am weak. But I am not. Legal practice is not a boxing ring. People thought I am not hard-hitting. I believe we shall gel and work together. I am not a know-it-all. But I am not naive and ignorant," said Kafuuzi.

 Byaruhanga (left) prepares to handover the documents 

He paid tribute to his predecessor, saying he had already started benefitting from his wise counsel.

Kafuuzi pledged to adhere to the spirit of teamwork, saying as a lawyer, consultation is very crucial in the execution of assignments.

His supervisor Attorney General(AG) William Byaruhanga, observed that Kafuuzi has joined a pool of talented and dedicated legal brains at AG chambers.

Present at the ceremony officiated by Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, were Solicitor General Francis Atoke, commissioners and directors at the ministry, among others.

Kafuuzi took the oath of office on February 12, after Parliament Appointments Committee certified his capability to serve as a senior government lawyer. 

His brief remarks at the ceremony offered a glimpse into his frustration at being minimised, when the vetting committee initially queried his competence. 

His predecessor Mwesigwa Rukutana, has advised him to consult colleagues widely and maintain the spirit of teamwork.
Rukutana said Jackson Kafuuzi should never be blinded by the glory surrounding his title but continue with the tradition of unity of purpose.

The former DAG made the remarks on Thursday morning as he handed over the office to Kafuuzi. The ceremony was conducted at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs(MOJCA) headquarters in Kampala.  

 "Wherever I have worked, I make friends. When God gives you an assignment, make friends, serve your country. Collegiality must remain. This issue of titles must not come in. The work method here is consultative," said Rukutana.

The recently appointed Labour State minister, paid tribute to colleagues at MOJCA, for the professional guidance in securing the interests of the Government.

He noted that people must understand that the AG office must strike a balance between politics and the law.

"We make decisions according to the political environment. Sometimes, colleagues disagree on legal matters but we must maintain that professional balance," stated Rukutana.

Prior, Kamuntu hailed Rukutana for dedicated service and linking up colleagues to make required deliverables in the AG chambers.

"We are saying farewell to deputy Attorney General who has served for five years. We are serving one government, one country, one ministry. We must work as a team," said Kamuntu.

Attorney General William Byaruhanga described Rukutana in glowing terms. He said Rukutana's ability to weave through the political-legal interplay, was a marvel, as demonstrated in court.

"His skills in the courtroom were well-known. We shared assignments easily. I respected him highly. We built a very strong interdependent relationship," said Byaruhanga.

"For me, this is a sad morning because he is my friend. We went to law school in the same year. He is my friend, a consummate lawyer, a great humourist, easy-going person."

The AG disclosed that a meeting had been held with Kamuntu and Kafuuzi, to identify the assignments Rukutana should continue doing. However, he did not delve into the specifics.

Solicitor General Francis Atoke, commended Rukutana for his guidance and deft skill, especially in the Age Limit case. He requested him to continue offering crucial advisory.

"I thank Rukutana for the years he spent here, especially in the Togikwatako case. Thanks for your guidance," said Atoke.


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