Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has appointed Oscar Kihika, the National Resistance Movement Director for Legal Services as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, the Presidential Press Secretary Sandor Walusimbi, said that the names of Kihika and the three others who are being elevated to the Supreme Court by the President have been forwarded to Parliament for vetting.
Those who have been elevated to the Supreme Court from the Court of Appeal are Justice Christopher Izama Madrama, Stephen Musota and Lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke.
“The Presidential Press Unit wishes to inform the general public that His Excellency the President has made appointments of new judges, the names have been forwarded to the Speaker of Parliament for vetting purposes,” read the statement in part.
Museveni in the appointment letter dated October 31st to the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, says that he has done the appointments while exercising the powers vested in him in the Constitution as well as acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, the statutory body in charge of recruiting and regulating the conduct of judicial officers in the country.
While speaking to Uganda Radio Network, the Judiciary Public Relations Officer, Jameson Karemani said that the appointments of the three Justices to the Supreme Court now brings the total number of Justices there to 11.
“Supreme Court was at eight and now is at 11 though the structure provides for 20 Justices,” Karemani told URN. The Court of Appeal was at 15 Justices and is now left at 13 Justices with a new justice added. The structure provides for 56 Justices.”
“We want to applaud the Judicial Service Commission for expediting the process and His Excellency for acting timelily. The appointments are a reinforcement to our efforts to perform better, especially after the good performance in the last quarter,” Karemani said.
Who is Oscar Kihika, the new appointee?
Kihika is a former President of the Uganda Law Society – a post he held for two consecutive terms and has a diverse legal experience of more than 20 years.
He is currently the Managing Partner at Byenkya and Kihika Company Advocates besides being the Director of Legal Affairs of the ruling NRM political party, where for many terms, he has ably defended the political/election victory of President Museveni -the Chairman of the party- as well as his political decisions and those of the party.
Partners at the law firm said, Kihika is a dynamic lawyer with extensive experience in handling any commercial matter be it dispute resolution, litigation, product liability, mergers, acquisitions, and joint venture transactions.
Even though the law firm is predominantly a civil/commercial law service provider, Kihika is said to have been of great help using his experience working as a former State Attorney at the Ministry of Justice, when they get clients who are facing criminal prosecution.
The rest of the Justices who have been elevated to the Supreme Court have been at the Court of Appeal for more than five years and have presided over many decisions and made land mark decisions including declaring that it was illegal to make new constituencies after the general elections have ended, land mark decisions on divorce and also presided over the controversial age limit petition.