KAMPALA – Justice Jeremiah Herbert Ntabgoba (81), Uganda’s first Principal Judge, is dead.
According to family sources, he passed on in the wee hours of this morning, April 12th, 2020 at International Hospital Kampala – after suffering a stroke in December 2019. He had for long battled diabetes and pneumonia.
The 81-year-old was born in present day Kisoro District on July 21, 1939 to Zakayo Bakunzi Rugiriki and Maria Bakunzi Nyirajana.
According to the Judiciary, he has served the Government of Uganda in different capacities. Between 1973 and 1978, Ntabgoba served as Registrar General, Administrator General, Public Trustee, and Official Receiver of Government of Uganda.
In 1976, Ntabgoba was the recipient of the Distinguished Service medal of the Government of Uganda. He was also certified in intellectual property from Australia.
From June 1, 1981, to August 31, 1987, he served as the first Director-General of the African Regional Industrial Property Organisation (ARIPO), based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization, is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation among African states in patent and other intellectual property matters. At the time he was serving as Puisne Judge, a position he held up to 1981.
In 1989, he was appointed as the first Principal Judge, a position he held for 15 years.
Upon retirement in 2004, he worked as a consultant for one of Uganda’s largest law firms- Kampala Associated Advocates, mainly on intellectual property matters.
He has been described by members of the law fraternity as a principled Judge, who was hard working and exhibited high levels of integrity.
Justice Ntabgoba who graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of East Africa, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in 1966, is survived by a widow, Jeninah M.N. Ntabgoba and six adult children (four daughters and two sons).