Oscar John Kihika, a Ugandan lawyer who has been serving as the Director of Legal Affairs at President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, will soon be a Justice (judge) of the country’s Court of Appeal.
Counsel Kihika has not only been Director Legal Affairs, but was previously a member of the team of lawyers that defended Gen Museveni in court in a presidential petition filed against his election victory. President Museveni has never lost any election petition failed against him in the Supreme Court of Uganda.
Boasting of about two decades of experience as a lawyer, Kihika once served as the President of Uganda Law Society (ULS) for two terms in a row. In private legal practice, Kihika is a Managing Partner at Byenkya and Kihika Company Advocates, a famous Kampala-based law firm he founded with Ebert Byenkya in the year 1992.
The following is what Byenkya and Kihika Company Advocates law firm says about its co-founder and managing partner Oscar Kihika:
Oscar is currently the Managing Partner at BK. He 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.
Oscar is valued at the Firm for being highly intelligent and effective. He has the unique ability of crafting fantastic skeleton arguments, extemporizes brilliantly and possesses a remarkable all round intellectual ability to dissect any legal problem. He is an integral part of our success. Often times his great sense of humour takes the edge off ruffled tempers at the Firm.
Even though BK is predominantly a civil/ commercial law service provider, Oscar’s earlier experience working as a state attorney at the Ministry of Justice comes in handy when some of our clients are faced with criminal prosecution.
Oscar Kihika is also a musician who has previously told local publications that he fell in love with music at the age of four. Years ago, he was known to hold concerts, some of them for charitable concerts. He plays musical instruments such as the rhythm guitar, drums, keyboard and a xylophone. His songs include ‘Girl’ and ‘Sweet Memories.’
Back to the world of law and politics, Oscar Kihika will soon leave the NRM Legal Department to serve as a justice of the Court Appeal. He will not be the first one to leave politics or partisan party work or even Museveni’s defence team to join the judiciary. His new boss, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo had been on that road.
Before being appointed a High Court Judge in 2008, Owiny-Dollo had from 1996 through 2001 been an NRM Member of Parliament representing Agago County in the 6th Parliament. In 1996, Museveni appointed Owiny-Dollo Minister of State in charge of Northern Uganda Reconstruction Programme or NURP. Ten years later, he was a member of Gen Museveni’s legal team in the presidential petition opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye had filed in the Supreme Court challenging that the 2006 presidential election.
Meanwhile, besides NRM lawyer Kihika who was appointed to the Court of Appeal, Gen Museveni appointed new Supreme Court judges. (See Details Here).
The appointment of new Supreme Court judges was confirmed at a time when there is an ongoing battle between CJ Owiny-Dollo and the court’s most experienced judge (justice) Esther Kisaakye, a ‘pro-Bobi Wine’ Supreme Court judge whose salary has been blocked by the Chief Justice and Secretary to Judiciary Pius Bigirimana. (Read Stories Here and There).