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 By Mulengera Reporters

Sometime last year, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) conducted interviews for Chief Justice Bart Katureebe’s replacement. Many showed interested, applied and sat interviews. Among those interviewed was the famous Catherine Bamugemereire who actually emerged best at the interviews. See related reporting here;;;; Others who had been shortlisted for Supreme Court slots included: Justices Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Elizabeth Musoke, Hellen Abulu Obura, Bashiraki Cheborion, Ezekiel K Muhanguzi, Stephen Musota, Percy Night Tuhaise, embattled Joseph Murangira, DPP Mike Chibita, Henry Peter Atim Adonyo, Brig Charles Wacha Angulo and ex-IGG Raphael Baku.

And for a while, it was believed she stood a chance to make history becoming Uganda’s first female Chief Justice. Not only did she excel at the JSC interviews but the favor with which Gen Museveni had previously treated her created an impression she had the necessary political approval ratings for the judiciary’s top job. However, the latest information reaching Mulengera News indicates that all that ceased to matter the moment members of a strong lobbyist group loyal to ex-Deputy AG Mwesigwa Rukutana got down to work.


Stung by the manner in which Bamugemereire had humiliated their amiable friend Rukutana, the ex-DAG’s supporters mobilized support and subsequently reached out to Gen Museveni before whom they pleaded against ever considering the combative lady from Manafwa for such a sensitive position. She had inadvertently dug her own grave when she humiliated Rukutana by blowing him up publicly on the day he appeared to testify about the Mutungo land saga which had the Kabaka of Buganda on one hand and city businessman Dr. Mohammed Buwule Kasasa on the other.


For more about the Rukutana humiliation read these earlier stories rukutana/;;; many powerful Kampalans who Rukutana has supported and worked with over the years, the Bamugemereire conduct amounted to doing the abominable. She had humiliated their don and it’s something for which she must pay a heavy price for the rest of her professional career life. The Rukutana supporters made sure they mobilized even senior judges whose land-related decisions had been subjected to public scrutiny at the Bamugemereire-led public hearings for the land probe. They all secured separate meetings with the President to whom they pleaded not to make such a mistake as making Bamugemereire the CJ. The same group members have also mobilized some of the lawyers at the AG’s chambers to make sure whoever eventually challenges the Bamugemereire land report in court succeeds getting huge damages awarded against the government as a way of showing the public that her much-publicized public hearings were after all not money well spent as it has only cost the tax payer much more in paying damages for the aggrieved.

On getting audience, the Rukutana adherents argued to the President that his blue eyed girl was hand working and well-intentioned but lacked the calm demeanor and the emotional composure and maturity to administer a whole arm of government called the Judiciary. “Please give her any other thing but not the CJ because the moment you do, many things are going to become complicated.” The Rukutana lobbyists told Museveni how many Rukutana-peer lawyers were very uncomfortable with her and there would be hostility between the bar and bench the moment she becomes CJ.

One elderly judge, who had his other grievances against Bamugemereire, was delivered to corroborate things and told Gen Museveni: “I have heard from many lawyers at the Attorney General’s chambers who are so angry with the way she humiliated their boss the Deputy AG and the day you make her CJ, such lawyers and their peers in the private practice are going to gang up and intrigue will become the order of the day in the judiciary.” The Rukutana lobbyists also referenced on Catherine Bamugemereire’s young age while claiming it was going to be improper such a young lady becoming CJ in which case she will automatically supervise many senior members of the bench including those that were her law teachers/lecturers both at Makerere and LDC.


Museveni was told that already there are some judges who are uncomfortable with the accelerated manner in which he had promoted her from High Court to Court of Appeal. Arguing that “such premature promotion” demoralized many longer serving judges, the Rukutana lobbyists claimed that there are already many judges both in High Court and Court of Appeal who insist that elevation wasn’t well-merited. Sources say that in the end, Gen Museveni involved the intelligence in verifying that potential for acrimony under CJ Bamugemereire and in the end got persuaded-and that is how we ended up with a finalists list that excluded her name. On the finalist list now being vetted you have DCJ Alfonse Winyi Dollo, Justices Richard Buteera and Prof Esther Kisakye Mayambala Kitimbo (see related reporting here

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