Govt accords Justice Aweri state burial

Deceased: Supreme Court judge, Ruby Opio Aweri. PHOTO/ FILE 

What you need to know:

  • Justice Rubby Opio Aweri becomes the first sitting Supreme Court judge to die in office.

Supreme Court judge Rubby Opio Aweri, who died on Wednesday morning, will be accorded a state burial, the Judiciary has said.

Mr Jamson Karemani, the public relations officer of the Judiciary, last evening said following the coming into force of the Administration of the Judiciary Act of 2020, a Supreme Court Judge, who dies while in office, shall be accorded a state burial and other entitlements.

“The national committee will meet at 5pm and come up with the tentative burial programme of the late judge who will be given a state burial in accordance with the Administration of the Judiciary Act,” Mr Karemani said by telephone yesterday.

Justice Aweri becomes the first sitting Supreme Court judge to die in office.

In Uganda, a state burial is provided in law for specified public officers, while an official funeral is granted by the President to any person for, among others, their exceptional contribution to the country or other causes.

But with the enactment of the Administration of the Judiciary Act, the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge and Justices of the Supreme Court are entitled to state burial.

This enactment now does away with the segregation in according some judges state funeral and others not.

Justice Aweri, 69, succumbed to stroke that arose from a long illness, according to Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, who announced his demise on Wednesday. By press time last evening, government had not officially announced the burial programme.

However, sources that attended last evening’s national committee preparatory meeting said tentative burial is Friday next week.

Arrangements 

Funeral arrangements for Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge and Justice of the Supreme Court:

1. A person who dies while holding the office of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge or Justice of the Supreme Court or a retired Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge or Justice of the Supreme Court shall be accorded a state funeral.

2. Thirty percent of the gross annual allowance of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge or Justice of the Supreme Court shall be used towards funeral expenses.

3. An official statement about the death of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge or Justice of the Supreme Court shall be made on television, radio, print media and other electronic media.

4. National flags shall be flown at half-mast during the mourning period.

5. The casket shall be wrapped in the national flag.

6. The casket cortege shall be escorted by the Uganda Police Force in top roof flash light vehicles.

7. The casket shall be carried by the ceremonially uniformed pall bearers from the Uganda Police Force.

8. The body shall lie in State for one day, for public viewing.

9. A condolence book shall be opened for signing by political leaders, dignitaries and the public.

10. An official guard shall keep vigil and a bright light shall light the casket throughout the night.

11. Parliament shall pay tribute to the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge or Justice of the Supreme Court with a band in attendance playing dirges.

12. A funeral service shall be held in honour of the late Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge or Justice of the Supreme Court in a place of worship or in a place designated by Cabinet.

13. The casket shall be transported to the burial place by a hearse.

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