Thursday, August 30, 2012


JUDICIARY MOURNS DEATH OF JUSTICE MULENGA By ANTHONY WESAKA Posted Thursday, August 30 2012 at 01:00 In Summary
The former judge, well known for defending journalists rights, succumbed to cancer. KAMPALA Justice Joseph Mulenga is dead. The judicial officer and politician who served the bench for nearly half a century lost a battle with cancer related complications, his family and the Judiciary announced yesterday. He died at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala. Tributes were by last evening pouring in for the judge, who among many other political and legal achievements delivered critical judgements that critically impacted the country’s media and political landscape. In 2001, Justice Mulenga was one of only two Judges of the Supreme Court to rule in favour of nullification of the election of President Museveni in a petition that was brought to court by opposition candidate Dr Kizza Besigye, who accused Mr Museveni of rigging elections. In 2004 Justice Mulenga was to write the lead judgement in a ruling that forever altered the media landscape in Uganda in the Charles Onyango Obbo and Andrew M. Mwenda Vs the Attorney General over the constitutionality of the offence of publication of false news. Landmark judgement Speaking about this landmark judgement on publication of false news, Dr Peter Mwesige, media scholar and practitioner with years of experience including coverage of Justice Mulenga’s time in the Constituent Assembly which wrote the 1995 Constitution, yesterday said: “In my view, one of the most important aspects of that judgement was the proposition that the application of constitutional protection to false expressions was not to ‘uphold falsity’ but to “avoid the greater danger of ‘smothering alternative views’ of fact or opinion”. Dr Mwesige noted that the judge was in line with our Constitution, when he “maintained that freedom of expression should only be suppressed where allowing its exercise manifestly endangers public interest. He further said Justice Mulenga rightly argued that unfettered discretion on what constitutes public interest, which the false new provision was purportedly protecting, “opens the way for those in power to perceive criticism and all expressions that put them in bad light, to be likely to cause mischief to the public”. Share This Story Share Related Stories Mulenga: Defender of the press is gone The Judiciary was saddened by the death of Justice Mulenga, saying it has lost him at a time when they needed him most for his vast experience. “As the Judiciary we received information with profound shock about the death of Justice Mulenga. We are indeed saddened about his death at the time we need him so much for his jurisprudence and experience,” said Erias Kisawuzi the Judiciary spokesperson, adding, “ there was a lot to learn from him given his vast experience. He will be missed not only by the bench but by also by the bar.” Born in the former Kigezi District. He attended St. Mary’s College Rushoroza, in Kabale, St. Leo’s College Kyegobe in Fort Portal and St. Mary’s College Kisubi. He obtained his Higher School Certificate in 1960. He undertook his legal education in the United Kingdom, where he graduated with Bachelor of Law degree at London University in 1965 and was called to the English Bar as Barrister-at-Law by the Middle Temple in 1966. Justice Mulenga was also a serving Judge of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, which he joined for a term of six years from 2008. Before his retirement in January 2009, Justice Mulenga was also appointed as a judge at the East African Court of Justice in 2001 for a term of seven (7) years, initially as Vice President of the Court, and subsequently as President of the Court. His legal career spanned 47 years. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JUSTICE JOHN MULENGA TO RECEIVE OFFICIAL BURIAL The former Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Nyamihana Mulenga, is to get an official burial, Government has announced. Mulenga, 74, died on Wednesday at Nakasero Hospital, Kampala after developing cancer-related complications. According to Mary Karoro Okurut,the Information and National Guidance minister, the casket bearing Mulenga's body will today lie in State at the Parliament and later legislators will honour the former Attorney General. Mulenga's body will later be taken to his residence, at Kimera road in a city suburb of Ntinda, where it will spend a night. A requiem Mass will be held on Saturday at Our Lady of Africa Church in Mbuya before cortege depart for his ancestral home in Mutolere, Kisoro, where it will be buried on Sunday. "As a person who has served this country in various capacities he deserves official burial," Karoro noted. In her statement, she described the deceased as a true patriot who served Uganda in various capacities, notably Attorney General and Supreme Court Judge. "He will dearly be missed not only in Uganda where he had an illustrious career but the whole African legal fraternity where his amazing contribution has been felt. Mulenga served his country with distinction and has left a huge legacy in the judicial fraternity, " she noted. More eulogies Foreign Affairs minister, Sam Kutesa, described his longtime friend and partner as a person who stood for the truth, and who would never condemn anyone without fair hearing. Kutesa noted "I first knew him in 1972 when he had just started Iringira and Mulenga Co. Advocates. Later we worked together at Mulenga and Kalemera Co. Advocates since 1980-1989. He was extremely reliable, professional and very acute as a lawyer. Mulenga was principled and always put his judicious neutrality with an incredibly superior temperate. He is an icon in legal and judicial system. He identified himself as an international judge and he later became a judge at the African Court of Justice which was good for Uganda. I am happy that I nominated him."he notes. Dr Philemon Mateke, the NRM chairman for Kisoro district and senior politician, said Mulenga was a unique judicial officer in the way he did his work. "He was a celebrated lawyer in the country with uniqueness in his work. We both competed at the constituency level in 1980 and I defeated him. I was in Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and he was DP but we remained friends,"Mateke added.

1 comment:

  1. This news upsets the country at large.
    I knew this great judge because he was one
    of that first HSC group at SMACK.I found him
    in S6 when I joined S1. theirs was indeed a very
    brilliant year which did wonders in the Cambridge HSC Exams.
    May his soul rest in eternal peace!

    Dr. George Herman Kkolokolo