Constitutional Court is sitting on the horns of dilemma

Sunday September 8 2019

Prof George W. Kanyeihamba

Prof George W. Kanyeihamba 

By Prof George W. Kanyeihamba

I am grateful to The Observer for its incisive analysis on why Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and Justice Kenneth Kakuru are at loggerheads.
Most knowledgeable Ugandans have always known why our appellate courts have never correctively performed to the national and international levels expected of them.
But some of us know the background and scholarly achievements of justices who have had the most stimulating careers with a wealth of experience enriched by international exposure to enable them share intellectual topics with all and sundry.
We then come back to the other perennial dilemma in our Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Many of our judges who have been made to look solemn and majestic are in intellect and reasoning as different as cheese is from chalk.
I must admit that some of the other judges have the same minds and are functional as any other jurist one cares to remember from history.
Moreover, many other judges may not have been as fortunate as some of us were and may only have a diploma in law, but are naturally gifted and can easily exhibit that same intellectualism.
It follows that some of the greatest minds in history such as Plato, Cicero and Socrates never had any master’s degrees, let alone PhDs, but even this columnist with five law degrees can never even dream to do what they achieved.
For example, I recently humbly submitted myself to be accessed by one such natural intellect who even now I hope could be elevated to a higher judicial office than he holds today.
The acute problem justices Kakuru and Owiny-Dollo have in the bitter split as reported by The Observer is that they are incompatible.
In other words, they are two people who can never work together in harmony, or to put it blankly, they will always work in disharmony because of their different educational, intellectual and environmental backgrounds.
According to The Observer, when the Deputy Chief Justice was thinking that the panel for the presidential age limit case should as much as possible represent all the tribes of Uganda, Justice Kakuru was thinking about how this court could uphold the principals of the Constitution and protect our people from arbitrary government actions.
Finally as we have functional heads of state, prime ministers and professors, we also have positional presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers and judges. It is for the reader to judge for himself or herself.