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Benedicto-Kiwanuka remains an icon for rule of law-Justice Minister

By Farooq Kasule

Added 21st September 2020 07:34 PM

“Benedicto Kiwanuka remains an icon for rule of law in world history because his life was short-lived in the quest for justice and rule of law,” Kamuntu stated.

Benedicto-Kiwanuka remains an icon for rule of law-Justice Minister

Deputy Solicitor General, Christopher Gashirabake and Richard Buteera, Deputy Chief Justice at High Court during the 3rd memorial lecture of Bendicto Kiwanuka. Photos by Wilfred Sanya

“Benedicto Kiwanuka remains an icon for rule of law in world history because his life was short-lived in the quest for justice and rule of law,” Kamuntu stated.

CELEBRATING LIFE | BENEDICTO KIWANUKA 

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Ephraim Kamuntu has said that former Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka is an icon for rule of law in world history.

In his speech delivered by Deputy Solicitor General Christopher Gashirabake during the 3rd Benedicto Kiwanuka memorial lecture at Kampala High Court gardens on Monday (September 21, 2020), Kamuntu noted Kiwanuka was killed because of his quest for justice and rule of law.

"Benedicto Kiwanuka remains an icon for rule of law in world history because his life was short-lived in the quest for justice and rule of law," Kamuntu stated.

Kiwanuka, also the first Ugandan Chief Justice, is said to have been killed on orders of former president Idi Amin Dada on September 22, 1972 at Makindye Military Prison. 

Yesterday (Sunday, September 20, 2020) marked 48-years since he was killed after being dragged out of his office at Kampala High Court. His burial place however still remains unknown.  

Makerere University law Don Dr Kabumba Busingye gave the keynote address in which he championed Africanisation of the law for better delivery of justice.

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, few people attended the lecture while the rest followed it via zoom technology.

Judges pose for photo during the 3rd memorial lecture of Benedicto Kiwanuka


Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Kiwanuka was an exhibition of unwavering courage and indomitable will for which he paid the ultimate price of loss of his life.

"We commemorate Kiwanuka in recognition of the role he played in the independence politics of Uganda and as a person who believed in the importance of having a country run on the basis of a democratic dispensation, ideals for which he was detained without trial," Owiny-Dollo said.

Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija implored judicial officers to emulate Kiwanuka and administer justice without fear or favor.

Who was Kiwanuka?

Benedicto Kiwanuka was born on May 22, 1922 in Kisaabwa village, Bukomansimbi district.

He dropped out of school in 1940, following the death of his father and joined the Kings African Rifles.

He fought in the Second World War and when the war ended, he returned to Uganda in 1945 and worked as a court clerk.

He married Maxencia Zalwango in 1946.

In 1949, Kiwanuka was instrumental in the riots that broke out in Buganda, protesting Indian monopoly of the coffee and cotton business.

In 1950, he went to Lesotho University in Zambia to study law.

In 1958, he became the Democratic Party president.

In 1961, he served as chief minister when the DP won majority seats in Parliament.

In 1962, he became the prime minister in the New National Assembly.

In 1971, he became one of Amin's political advisors and was appointed the first black chief justice of Uganda.

In 1972, Kiwanuka was murdered in cold blood and his body has never been seen.


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