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Justice Kenneth Kakuru, the internet’s man of the year

Justice Kenneth Kakuru

Although the Constitutional Court upheld the amendment of the Constitution that lifted the cap on the presidential age, one Judge stood out, for his honesty and vote.

Justice Keneth Kakuru is the only judge of a five-member panel that voted against the amendment of the Constitution that lifted the cap on the presidential age.

In his judgment, Kakuru stated that there was no public participation before carrying out amendment of the Constitution.

The process of the amendment, he noted, was a planned ambush since the Bill was introduced in Parliament, debated and passed on the same day.
Overall, the judge declared that the process of the amending the Constitution “unconstitutional and a nullity.”

Despite that his one vote could not over rule four votes by the other judges on the panel, Ugandans on social media have praised Kakuru for having the courage to rule against the man, President Yoweri Museveni, who appointed him, and for restoring their faith in the independence of the judiciary.

Trending on twitter is his name Keneth Kakuru. Several Ugandans on social media have referred to him as a person of integrity.

READ: Judges’ take on key issues in age limit ruling

A tweep, Sarah Bireete said on twitter this morning; “Good Morning Uganda-a Ctry where people are still celebrating the landmark judgement by Justice Kenneth Kakuru. He will go down in history as the torchbearer of constitutionalism & a highly respected statesman just like Thomas More ~ The Man For All Seasons.”

Jackie Oloya in a reply to a quote by NTV Uganda wrote; “Listening to Justice Kenneth Kakuru gave me hope for Uganda and the future knowing we still have sober, bold & patriotic learned elders who are ready to stand for truth and only truth in order to guide the young & those to come in reconstruction of the country.”

@JonanTea “Always tell the truth and the truth shall set you free”, And Yes, Justice Kenneth Kakuru did exactly that, How proud I feel to have lived when u wrote this history! Uganda would be better if all citizens emulated you

Meanwhile the party was not only on twitter. People on Facebook were full of praises for the Judge.

Muganga Douglas Katosi wrote, “Justice Kakuru, we thank you! For having been the only judge to declare the raping of the constitution just as it is.
The national liberation struggle must continue until freedom is achieved.”

Okoth Ronald Watson? said, “I pray to God to give me twins, I will name d first twin Justus Kenneth Kakuru not Opio as my culture dictates @JudiciaryUG Justice Kenneth Kakuru Viva. I will tell him to emulate this great Ugandan.”

Justice Kakuru’s key quotes

“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”

“There is no evidence that the Army and Police would have come to parliament if MPs had not acted the way they did, so they called police so they cannot come here to cry foul”

“I do not think two months were enough for Members of Parliament to seek views of Ugandans on such an issue. In addition to that, there were other organisations, students and political leaders among others.”

‘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.”

”Members of Parliament  have no power on their own to legislate, the power to legislate belongs to the people of Uganda.”

READ: Age limit case: MPs lose, Museveni wins

“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 am unable to find any justification as to why MPs simply added themselves two years just to get acclimatised in Parliamentary procedure and business. I, therefore, find the passing of this amendment unconstitutional.”

“In my humble view, the Speaker of Parliament should have adjourned the house and denied the suspended MPs access. Members of Parliament who were manhandled are at liberty to seek redress”

“Having said all that, I declare that the entire amendment was unconstitutional and should be declared null and void. The petitioners shall be paid costs as directed by the Deputy Chief Justice.”

A graphic showing how each of the judges voted

Who is Justice Keneth Kakuru

Born in 1958, Kakuru is a Ugandan lawyer and judge, who serves as a justice of the Court of Appeal of Uganda, since May 2013. The 60 year old studied Law at Makerere University, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He later graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree, also from Makerere University. His Diploma in Legal Practice was obtained from the Law Development Centre, in Kampala.

He also holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Educational Policy Planning and Development, awarded by Kyambogo University.

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