KAMPALA – Justice Kenneth Kakuru is the trending judge; the odd man out of five judges in the age limit ruling on July 26. Javiira Ssebwami profiles the person, whose voice sounded louder than four in the much anticipated result of the historical petition heard in April and barred MPs from giving themselves an extra two years
Ugandans have praised Justice Kakuru for restoring their faith in the independence of the judiciary.
Several media have referred to the judge as a person of integrity, which they attribute to his being an activist for over 30 years before he was appointed Justice of the Court of Appeal in 2013.
Justice Kakuru is a son to Reverend Eliakim Kamujanduzi, a renowned elder and senior educationist who denied the Omugabe of Ankole His Highness Charles Rutahaba Gatsyonga, Holy Communion at Ruharo Parish saying he (the Omugabe) was polygamous. Some people believe Kakuru’s his stun judgment in the age limit petition could show a trait he picked from his father.
Kakuru was born in Uganda in 1958.
Kakuru attended local schools for primary and secondary education. He studied law at Makerere University and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. Later he graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree.
He obtained a diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, in Kampala.
He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Education Policy Planning and Development, from Kyambogo University.
He was appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal in 2013.
Kenneth Kakuru married the late Winnie Ikiriza Kakuru on September 12, 1987 and together they had three children, Sama, Tracy and Rose. Ikiriza died in 2009
On January 14, 2012, he married Charity Nankunda Kakuru.
Prior to joining the bench, in 1987 Justice Kakuru, who specializes in public interest litigation, together with other senior lawyers established a law firm, Kakuru & Company Advocates, based in Kampala.
The man who has won the hearts of many Ugandans founded and is still a non-executive director of Greenwatch Uganda, an environmental advocacy whose mission is to promote public participation in protection and managing of the environment.
Kakuru is an associate professor at the Uganda Pentecostal University and an external examiner at the Law Development Centre in Kampala.
Justice Kakuru is a member of the Uganda Law Society, the East African Law Society, and the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide among other Law bodies.
Memorable quotes from Justice Kenneth Kakuru in the age limit ruling
“The Deputy AG submitted evidence from the bar that citizens were consulted on social media is evidence of cynicism and arrogance of the MPs and the Executive regarding public participation”
“I am unable to find any reasonable justification for the MPs to award themselves two years on top of the five without consulting their electorate even when the AG [Attorney General] says they did using their Ipads.”
“MPs consulted very few people, actually they consulted about 0.0002% of voters, even if they added themselves to the list of those consulted.”
“Parliament could as well abolish the Judiciary, vote to remove the Republic of Uganda and make themselves Parliamentarians for life. The argument that you can vote to amend any article of the Constitution by simple majority is misguided. I therefore find the passing of this amendment unconstitutional.”
“MPs have no power of their own. The power they have belongs to the people, it is delegated power. The suggestion by the Attorney General that MPs can amend anything is fiction. It must be rejected and I therefore reject it.”
“The execution of this amendment appears to have been a well-planned, premeditated and executed plan by a few backbenchers with the support of the Attorney General.”
“I find that there was no public participation because the bill was presented, debated and passed on the same day.”
“If what happened in the eight years of Amin’s terror rule was to be written down, there would be no space in the library of Uganda to house the literature,” Justice Kakuru ruled.
“The notion that every Article of the Constitution can be amended, has no legal basis in our history and Jurisprudence, it must be rejected, and I hereby reject it.
“What happened in the passing of the Age Limit law appears to have been window dressing and a clumsy one.
“Some of the people that interfaced the committee represented Uganda Association of the Uneducated. It is unfortunate that these are the people that represented Ugandans, I have restrained myself from using a stronger language.”