By Joan Akello
Prof. Dr. George Wilson Kanyeihamba, the distinguished former Supreme Court judge spoke to Joan Akello about being oneself.
Any three things we don’t know about you?
I’m very romantic, humorous and don’t envy or hate anybody even those who hate me. I’ve never found my brother Joel who lost in 1971.
Cases you’ll never forget?
A man was representing himself when counsel for his opponent asked court for an adjournment after learning his client had died but the respondent said `I object; did the man who died apply for this adjournment?’In another case, while I was drafting a judgment, the registrar sent me a note that one of the appellants had died in jail.
So when I was reading the judgment, I said that since one of the appellants died in jail, we are not going to pass sentence on him. But then he stood up immediately and said `I am still alive’. Quickly the Chief Justice had to adjourn the case.Then there is the one of an LC chairman and his son in Bunyoro region who were convicted of an armed robbery on a rainy night yet villagers present said seconds after the alarm was made these two men were asleep and their shoes were dry and there was no trace of mud to show that they had stolen and run into their house. I hope they got presidential pardon because it haunts me.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
When you do not worry about what others say about you but only what God thinks of you.
When were you happiest?
When I, my son and daughter got married.
What is your greatest fear?
Is the period generally our people are going to suffer from bad governments going to be shorter or longer?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Because of my openness about public affairs, many people fear to talk to me.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your current state of mind?
I’m comfortable, at peace with my self and God. People say you must be corrupt to have wealth but those who want and have trillions are unhappier.
On what occasion do you lie?
On private affairs like if I find a friend’s wife in a lodge with another man, I won’t reveal it to any one except if they were planning to harm any one else.
Which living person do you most despise?
People who inflict needless pain onto others.
Which living person do you most admire?
Cardinal Wamala; I love him.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
He lives in accordance to what God intended them to do like Prof.Ssempebwa (RIP).
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
She does not parade her beauty as her only asset, does not necessarily emulate man but shows her individual character.
Who is the greatest love of your life?
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’ve them all; intelligence, wisdom, intellectualism, ability to converse and sleep soundly. If patiently listening to fools and detractors from truth is, i don’t have it.
What is your greatest achievement?
My contribution to refining the Constitution of Uganda; my writings contribute to understanding politics and law and; being recognised by the Uganda/ British University Alumni in 2005 to receive the trophy for lifetime achievement.
What would you be If you were to die and come back?
As a cat because it doesn’t do anything for you but you look after it and are a slave to it.
What about as a woman?
I was nearly raped by a homosexual in Germany and i very much feel for women and a male member of FIDA but I would still come back as a man.
Where would you most like to live?
Wales (UK), Canada and New Zealand but their weather can’t beat Uganda’s.
What is your most treasured possession?
My trophy for lifetime achievement; everything else is worldly.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
When I lost my mother, and what Kony did to innocent women. Many times I cry when I watch TV news and see people treat others as beasts or prey, and men who rape women. Why don’t they go and buy whores?
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am who I am that’s why I wrote the book `The blessings and joy of being who you are’.
Who are your favorite writers?
William Shakespeare, Chinua Achebe, John Grisham, Lord Jeffrey Howard Archer
Who is your hero of fiction?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
The man of all seasons; Thomas Moore. I can never change because of fear.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Graca Machel, Miria Matembe, Rebecca Kadaga and Hillary Clinton.
What is it that you most dislike?
When corrupt civil servants are are promoted. Those responsible will go to hell.
What is your greatest regret?
My parents sold our land to educate me but after I qualified they had already died.
How would you like to die?
I’ve lived with diabetes for over 40 years but I’m not handicapped and I say that when time comes, I’ll go. I want people to enjoy Messiah at my funeral and I’ll leave money for people to buy champagne and be merry because Kanyeihamba has lived a full and exciting life.
What is your motto?
Never worry about what people think but what God thinks. A Chinese saying that the more I know, the less I understand.