Lady Justice Hon. Alice Mpagi Bahegeine, who is a Deputy Chief Justice Emeritus, has been awarded the Benedicto Kiwanuka Award.
Hon. Justice Bahegeine received the award during the 3rd Benedicto Kiwanuka Memorial, which was held by the Judiciary at the High Court Grounds, on Monday, September 21st, 2020, which was presided over by the Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo, his deputy Justice Richard Buteera, among several other members of the Judiciary.
This year’s event was premised on the theme; ‘Benedicto Kiwanuka: Promoting the Rule of Law Under the New Normal.
The scientific event which was streamed live on Facebook, Twitter, Zoom and other online platforms was also graced by the former Democratic Party (DP) president Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere, who is one of Uganda’s longtime experts in matters regarding the law, having served as a lawyer for several decades.
The keynote speaker at this year’s Benedicto Kiwanuka Memorial was Dr Busingye Kabumba, who is a senior lecturer at the School of Law, Makerere University.
Dr Kabumba’s keynote lecture was themed, “Black Laws Matter” inspired by the ‘Black Lives Matter Movement.’
Prior to her retirement, the Benedicto Kiwanuka awardee is Hon. Justice Bahegeine served the Judiciary for 41 years in different capacities.
Founded in 2018, the Benedicto Kiwanuka memorial lecture commemorates the life and contributions of Benedicto Kagimu Kiwanuka, one of Uganda’s independence leaders who became the country’s first prime minister and later first native Chief Justice in June 1971.
As Chief Justice, Kiwanuka would later come into collision with then-President Idi Amin Dada apparently over the latter’s disregard for the rule of law and dictatorial tendencies and as a result, was kidnapped by Amin’s soldiers from his chambers at the High Court in Kampala and later killed on 21st September 1972.
In his book “General Amin “, Historian David Martin citing eyewitnesses, says the former Chief Justice’s ears, nose, lips, and arms were severed and he was castrated and finally immolated, his body never to be seen again.
“The Judiciary decided to hold Annual memorial lectures to celebrate his life and achievements and to remind ourselves of his contribution to the advancement of the rule of law and nation-building in Uganda,” Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo said.