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Thursday, August 18, 2022

When Justice Esther Kisakye sued Kanyeihamba for questioning her academic qualifications & competence to serve as Supreme Court judge

Last week’s Supreme Court drama is not the first controversy Justice Esther Kisakye has engaged in since her appointment to the highest court in the land.

As we reported at the weekend, court documents in a case Justice Kisakye filed against former Supreme Court judge George Wilson Kanyeihamba shows how former chief justice Bart Katureebe had also, reportedly, complained about the controversial female judge.

Apart from the statements then CJ Katureebe made about Kisakye in a conversation with Prof Kanyeihamba – which got published into his book ‘IN THE NAME OF GOD, TRUTH & JUSTICE’ – the judge also listed Kanyeihamba’s questioning of her academic qualifications and competence as key grounds.

In the case filed in 2020, Justice Kisakye sued Kanyeihamba alongside Michael Kalule Buwembo of Micar Books for defamation through statements published in the book.

In the suit lodged before the High Court in Kampala, Justice Kisakye also accused Kanyeihamba and Buwembo of invasion of privacy, and unlawful conduct.

She sought a permanent injunction against Buwembo and Kanyeihamba from ever publishing the ‘defamatory’ statements.

She also demanded general damages, exemplary damages, aggravated damages, costs and interests.

She also instructed her lawyers of Muyanja and Company Advocates to seek orders instructing Kanyeihamba to hire a public relations firm to secure television prime time to broadcast content clearing her image over a period of time, all at the respondents’ cost.

Kisakye argued that a letter Kanyeihamba wrote to Chief Justice Katureebe complaining about her academic qualifications and suitability to sit on the Supreme Court bench defamed her among right thinking members of society.

“The complaint letter purported to have inside knowledge of the plaintiff’s [Justice Kisakye’s] academic qualifications, judicial acts and omissions, court correspondence which the defendants [Kanyeihamba and Buwembo] are all not privy to under any element of law,” Kisakye told court in her suit.

She said Kanyeihamba had gone ahead to include this letter, dated January 18, 2016, in his book.

That the same book portrayed her as incompetent, unfit to hold office of a judge, and as disrespectful and defiant to CJ Katureebe.

Kisakye also said the book portrayed her as uncooperative with fellow judges, one who made worthless judgments and had abused her office.

She further noted that Kanyeihamba had circulated the book containing the defamatory statements in Uganda and across the world.

That the book was in circulation and she had bought a copy at Aristoc Bookshop at Shs50,000.

Kisakye further complained that the book had injured her reputation.

“The plaintiff’s exposure and reputation which extends far and wide beyond Ugandan borders has been severely and wantonly attacked and injured in said letter published in the said book,” read her argument in part.

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