The Judges of the Supreme Court of Uganda- Their Career Side.

This what you might need to know about the Men and Women who, in less than 10 days, will will decide the outcomes of Uganda’s 2016 electoral petition that seeks to annul the election.

Hon Justice Bart Katureebe Magunda- The Chief Justice of Uganda

Justice Bart Katureebe

From 1975 until 1983, Katureebe worked as a state attorney in the Ministry of Justice.

From 1983 until 1988, he practiced law in a private setting.

From 1988 until 1991, he served as the deputy minister for regional cooperation, then deputy minister of industry and technology (1991 to 1992), and State Minister for Health and a member of the National Resistance Council, a legislative body at that time (1992 to 1996).

From 1994 until 1995, he was the elected member of the Constituent Assembly representing Bunyaruguru County, Rubirizi District.

From 1996 until 2001, he served as the minister of justice, constitutional affairs and attorney general.

He went back to private practice in 2001, starting his own law firm Kampala Associated Advocates.

In 2005, Katureebe was appointed chairman, board of directors, New Vision Printing and Publishing Company Limited. He also served as a director at Standard Chartered bank and National Insurance Corporation.

He was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court in 2005. On 5 March 2015, he was appointed chief justice

Katureebe represented Uganda at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, where DR Congo had accused Uganda of plundering her resources, among other complaints. He also appeared in the Supreme court on behalf of the government to successfully challenge Gen David Tinyefuza’s victory in the Constitutional court.

Katureebe is considered to be an impartial judge who is not a hardliner. In 2006, he agreed with other members of the Supreme court panel that upheld the outcome of that year’s presidential election.

Hon. Lady Justice Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza

Prof Lilian Ekirikubinza


Previously served as a faculty member and administrator at Makerere University. The first Ugandan woman to qualify for an award of a PhD in Law, she also was the first woman to be appointed an associate professor and a full professor of law in East Africa. She was the first female deputy dean of Makerere’s Faculty of Law and the first woman to be named deputy vice-chancellor at that university.

She was born in 1961 to late Prince Christopher Tibatemwa of Kigulu County in Iganga District.

Prof. Lillain Tibatemwa is also a Fellow of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences and an Alumnus of the International Women’s Leadership Forum.

She also served as the Acting Vice Chancellor of Makerere university from April 2009 to October 2009.

A few days to the 2016 elections, she was among the judges who upheld the substantiality test, which has previously determined the direction of the presidential election’s petition.

Lilian Tibatemwa is happily married to Paul Ekirikubinza, an engineer.

They are blessed with three sons in their beautiful marriage which has lasted for over 20 years.

Hon Lady Justice Faith Mwondha

Justice Faith Mwondha Speaking at a Graduation Ceremony

Faith Essy Kalikwani Mwondha was born on March 16th, 1954.

She attended Iganga Secondary School for her Ordinary Level education (1968–71), Namasagali College for her Advance Level (1972–73) and Makerere University for Bachelor of Laws (1974–77).

Attended Law Development Centre (1977- 1978).

In 2006 attained a degree in Business Law from the De Montfort University of Leicester.

1979, appointed Grade Two Magistrate, Kampala.

1984, enrolled as an advocate of the High Court.

1987, Jinja acting Chief Magistrate until 1990 when she was confirmed.

1994, elected Jinja Woman Delegate to the Constituent Assembly. She had been a member of the National Resistance Council (parliament).

1996, appointed commissioner, Uganda Human Rights Commission.

2001, appointed High Court Judge

2005, appointed Inspector General of Government.

Has a law firm M/S Mwondha & Co. Advocates.

While at Makerere University, Mwondha was Secretary of Mary Stuart Hall.

1991–1998, was a delegate of Church of Uganda to the World Council of Churches in Geneva.

1995–1997, member of Makerere University Council.

2000, appointed member of Uganda Christian University Council, Mukono.

She is also a member of the Global Board, the United Bible Society and chairperson of Iganga SS Old Students Association.

Justice Eldad Mwangusya

He was elevated to the Supreme Court Bench in September last year from the Court of Appeal/ Constitutional Court. He previously worked as High Court judge and head of the Civil Division.

Justice Mwangusya started as a state attorney at the Ministry of Justice in 1976 and rose through the ranks to become principal state attorney. In 1997, he joined private practice only to be called to the bench the following year.

He started as resident judge of Fort Portal and Masaka circuits. Thereafter, he became the deputy head of the International Crimes Division of the High Court. It is from here that he was promoted to head the Civil Division of the High Court.

In 2014, Justice Mwangusya was among the seven justices that ruled that it was unconstitutional to reappoint Benjamin Odoki upon retirement.

In 2013, he was appointed to the court of Appeal/Constitutional court. At the Constitutional court, Mwangusya wrote the court’s judgment that struck down the Anti-homosexuality Act on grounds that it was passed by parliament without quorum.

Hon Justice Augustine Nshimye

Justice Nsimye (photo by Nwe Vision )

Justice Nshimye started his career as a senior clerk in 1967. In 1986, he was appointed deputy chief registrar, a post he held for two years before joining private practice.

In 2008, he was appointed a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

In 2010, he served as acting Justice of the Supreme Court.

He was elevated to the Supreme Court Bench in September last year from the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court where he had served since his appointment in 2008.

He had previously served as MP for Mityana South and minister for regional cooperation in the NRM government.

He is one of the Founding memeber of the NRM and a Promoter of the Organisation.

He was recently appointed as the inspector of courts.

Hon Justice Rubby Opio Aweri

Born in 1953, Justice Opio’s career began in Soroti District where he was a legal assistant in 1982.
The following year, he joined the Judiciary as Grade One magistrate and rose through the ranks to become judge of the High Court in 1998.

It was until about two years ago that he became Justice of the Court of Appeal and was elevated to the Supreme Court in September last year. He is married and has a Master of Laws from Makerere University. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the Law Development Centre and Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University.

Hon Lady Justice Stella Arach Amoko

In her career as a judge, Arach has handled many election petitions.

In 2006 Arach Amoko dismissed the petition in which NRM’s Francis Babu had challenged Erias Lukwago’s victory as Kampala Central MP.

Once at the Court of Appeal, in 2012, Arach Amoko wrote the lead judgment that nullified NRM’s Faisal Kikulukunyu’s victory as the MP for Butambala county. The ruling benefited DP’s Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi.

Justice Arach Amoko served in the Attorney General’s chambers from 1979 to 1997 and rose from being a state attorney to commissioner for civil litigation. She joined the bench in 1997 as a High Court judge before being promoted to the court of Appeal in 2010. She was among the nominees the Judicial Service Commission had recommended for appointment as Chief Justice.

Her Lordship Hon. Lady Justice, Stella Arach was appointed Judge of EACJ in June 2006 and as a Deputy Principal Judge of the First Instance Division in November 2008, she therefore served for seven years (7) at the East African Court of Justice

Hon Justice Jothan Tumwesigye

Justice Jotham Tumwesigye

He joined the judiciary in 2009 when he was appointed Supreme court justice.

He previously served as Inspector General of Government and chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission.

While at the Supreme court, Tumwesigye has been party to many progressive judgments. For instance, in the case of former Lubaga South MP, John Ken Lukyamuzi, he decided that it was unconstitutional for the IGG, Faith Mwondha, to throw him out of Parliament.

He has been sitting on the supreme court bench since 2009.

He represents on the judiciary on the Judicial Service Commission.

Hon Lady Dr. Justice Esther Mayambala Kisaakye

Justice Dr. Kisaakye

Esther previously served as Vice-Chairperson of the Association of Uganda Women Lawyers which ran a legal aid clinic.

In 1993, she was selected by the Leadership & Advocacy for Women in Africa Program to do an MA on Women’s Rights at Georgetown University Law Center. The East African Journal on Peace & Human Rights published her thesis, “Changing the Terms of the Debate to Resolve the Polygamy Question in Africa.”

she is among Africa’s most notable scholars and was a Lecture at Makerere University, Uganda’s most prestigious and oldest University, and subsequently lectured in the Human Rights Peace Center.

She is/was a Board member of the Uganda Aids Commission and a co-founder of the Strategic Litigation Coalition.

In Sept 2013 Dr. Esther Kisakye was elected as the new president of of the National Association of Women Judges in Uganda.

In April 2013 she was appointed the chair of the East African Judicial Committee.

she has been central to the calls for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) of 2009.

Dr Kisakye was one of the seven judges who heard the MPs’ petition challenging the September 6 Constitutional court ruling that temporarily locked them out of Parliament.In her minority ruling, Kisakye argued that the Supreme court had no jurisdiction to hear the MPs’ application.“In my view, Article 132 of the Constitution only vests this court appellate jurisdiction to hear from decisions of the Constitutional court.