At the 5th commemorative function held yesterday in honour of Uganda’s post-independence maiden Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka, president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who was the chief guest rallied armed forces to sometimes defy unnecessary court orders.
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The president made the appeal while giving his remarks in honor of the fallen Chief Justice who was abducted from the high court by troops believed to have been for the Idi Amin government. The slain Chief Justice Kiwanuka was murdered after he allegedly defied an order from president Idi Amin Dada and opted to grant bail to a British citizen who was under trial. It is said this triggered fury and president Amin instructed hus troops to go for the defiant Chief Justice.
Ugandans privy to circumstances under which Benedicto Kiwanuka was murdered say his own friends had cautioned him at a party held in Nakasero. Some even urged him to flee to exile for hiw own life but Kiwanuka stood his ground and opted to stay and be martyred for the truth.
At the time of his abduction, Kiwanuka was picked from his office at High Court Kampala, dragged into a military vehicle and taken to custody which some historians say was Makindye military barracks while others say Nile mansions which is present day Serena hotel.
Kiwanuka’s abduction drew global criticism for the Idi Amin regime. It is said even a Congolese ambassador spoke to Amin and urged him to set free Kiwanuka but the president was hesitant after Kiwanuka declined to express remorse during interrogation. He was executed and his remains were never to be seen again.
Similarly last year, court had granted a UGX 20m bail to jailed National Unity Platform lawmakers Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya till a presidential statement influenced their re-arrest. Todate the MPs have never been freed despite multiple attempts to apply for bail.