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The late Benedicto Kiwanuka was the first pre-independence Prime Minister of Uganda and former President of Democratic Party (DP), who also served as Chief Justice of Uganda (1971-1972) after his release from prison. He is acknowledged as a statesman who selflessly promoted democracy, justice and rule of law in Uganda.
While Chief Justice (CJ), Ben Kiwanuka allowed a Habeas Corpus application by an expatriate who had been detained at Makindye military barracks. He was subsequently picked from his chambers in the High Court, never to be seen again. To this day he lies in an unmarked grave.
Foundation for African Development (FAD) organizes, on an annual basis, a lecture in memory of the late Ben Kiwanuka with the objective of mobilizing key governance actors to memorialize Kiwanuka for his unwavering commitment to human rights, justice and democracy in Uganda.
FAD is an indigenous non-governmental organization, which was established in 1979 to rejuvenate the political, social and economic structures in Uganda. The Foundation has over the years gained reputation as one of the most experienced NGOs in capacity building in Uganda. FAD organizes public dialogues to provide platforms to key actors in the governance sector to engage on important national issues with a view to influencing the shaping and implementation of public policy. The overall goal of FAD is to promote democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.
FAD enjoys partnership and association with different organizations in different developmental aspects and has in particular had a partnership of over 30 years with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), a German Political Foundation engaged in promoting democracy, human rights and rule of law worldwide and which has sponsored this public dialogue.
The theme for this year’s dialogue is, “The role of the Judiciary before, during and after independence and how it has impacted the democratization process in Uganda”.
Whereas cases of corruption have sometimes been said to happen in the Judiciary, it is also on record that the Judiciary in Uganda has produced some of the most principled personalities this country has ever had and whose lives are worth emulating.
As Uganda celebrates 50 years of Independence, it is befitting to reflect on the important role the Judiciary has played in the democratization process in Uganda and in doing so also reflect on the contribution people like the late Ben Kiwanuka made. This noble task of taking stoke of the contribution of the judiciary in the democratization process in Uganda will be guided by a presentation from a senior and distinguished insider of the Judiciary System, His Lordship, Justice James Ogola, the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission, and former head of the High Court of Uganda.
The participants in the dialogue will include Political Party Leaders, Government Officials, Academics, representatives of civil society activists and the media.