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Judiciary wants probe in magistrate's death

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Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma lays a wreath on the casket containing the remains of chief magistrate Francis Kobusheshe during a requiem Mass at Our Lady of Africa Catholic Church, Mbuya, in Kampala yesterday. Photo by Dominic Bukenya 

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

Posted  Thursday, December 31  2015 at  02:00

In Summary

Observation. Deputy Chief Justice says there was negligence as the deceased chief magistrate Francis Kabusheshe sought medication.

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Kampala. Calls for investigations into the death of the chief magistrate of Kiboga and Hoima districts, Francis Kobusheshe, dominated yesterday’s requiem Mass with judicial officers questioning the circumstances under which he died.
A sombre mood covered Our Lady of Africa Catholic Church, Mbuya in Nakawa Division, where mourners gathered to celebrate the life of the late Kobusheshe.

“I endorse the call for thorough investigations into the circumstances that led to the death of our colleague,” the Deputy Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma, who described Kobusheshe’s demise as “unfortunate”, told mourners.
The Chief Registrar, Mr Paul Wolimbwa Gadenya, had also earlier called for an investigation into the death of the 43-year-old.
“I would like us to look into what quickened the demise of our colleague,” Mr Gadenya, who supervised the deceased as a judicial officer, had said.

He described the late Kobusheshe as an intelligent, diligent and hardworking officer who has left a solid life for the rest to follow.
The judicial officers were concerned that the chief magistrate was not attended to at Mulago National Referral Hospital, prompting his family members to take him to Nsambya and later Case Hospital, where he died from on Tuesday.
According to Ms Harriet Kobusheshe, the widow, the deceased collapsed while carrying out his judicial duties in Kiboga before he was rushed to various hospitals leading to an operation, but all in vain.

Describing the absence of responsible officers on duty as professional negligence, Justice Kavuma said Kobusheshe’s death should serve as a wakeup call for everyone to live and work responsibly.
“We have heard the struggle that the family went through to save the life of our brother, but they could not be helped. This is not an isolated case. It has become the norm that during festive seasons, responsible officers are not available. This must stop,” Justice Kavuma said.
However, when contacted for a comment, Mr Enock Kusasira, the Mulago hospital, spokesperson, said he needed time to consult.

“You are bringing it (matter) to me for the first time. I need to find out when the person was brought and to which department such that I confirm who was on duty that day,” he said in a telephone interview.
Ms Kobusheshe commended the Judiciary and the legal fraternity for the support and assistance extended to them since her husband fell sick.
Kobusheshe is survived by five children and a widow and he will be buried today at his ancestral home in Rugazi village in Ibanda District.

About Kobusheshe
He worked as a legal assistant and company secretary in private legal practice before joining the judiciary at the rank of a Grade One magistrate in 1999. He worked in various magisterial areas including Fort Portal, Kapchorwa, Kibaale, Buganda Road and Kiboga as well as visiting Hoima as presiding chief magistrate.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com