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Ugandan Court of Appeal judge Kenneth Kakuru dies in Nairobi

Ugandan Court of Appeal judge Kenneth Kakuru dies in Nairobi
Uganda's Justice Kenneth Kakuru, who died on March 7, 2023 | Credit | Daily Monitor

Ugandan Court of Appeal Justice Kenneth Kakuru has died at the age of 65, Judiciary spokesperson Jameson Karemani has confirmed.

“Justice Kakuru has been a valued member of the bench since his appointment on July 4, 2013 and will be greatly missed. He was, through his actions and judgements, a human rights defender par excellence. As Judiciary, we shall surely miss him,”  CJ Owiny-Dollo said.

The outspoken judge had in 2021 applied to retire seven years earlier due to a health condition he was dealing with.

“Yes it is true, I have applied for early retirement on account of health. I have been told that the management and treatment of this condition will go on for the rest of my life,” he then told the Monitor in an interview.

Justice Kakuru, who gained fame for his dissenting judgment in the ‘age limit case’, has been on the appellate court’s bench since 2013 when he was tapped from private practice.

In the aforementioned case, Justice Kakuru was the only one of five judges to rule that the amendment of the Constitution in 2017, to remove lower and upper age limits for presidential and local government candidates, was done illegally.

He based his ruling on a number of factors, primary among them being the lack of consultation of the public during the process of the amendment.

The four, who dismissed the petition against the amendment, were Mr Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, then Deputy Chief Justice and now Chief Justice, Justice Remmy Kasule, Justice Elizabeth Musoke, and Justice Cheborion Barishaki.

Before joining the Judiciary, Justice Kakuru practised law through his firm, Kakuru and Company Advocates, and distinguished himself as an environmental rights attorney and an expert in public interest litigation.

He held a bachelor’s degree in law and a master’s of law from Makerere University, a post graduate diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre, and a master’s degree in educational policy, planning and development from Kyambogo University.