Sunday, March 3News That Matters

Why President M7 rejected Justice Kisaakye’s early retirement request.

President Yoweri Museveni has declined the early retirement request submitted by Supreme Court Judge Esther Kitimbo Kisaakye.
The judge, who filed her application in July of this year, sought permission to retire before reaching the mandatory retirement age. While Supreme Court judges in Uganda must retire at 70, they have the option to voluntarily step down ten years before the mandatory retirement age. Justice Kisaakye requested early retirement at the age of 63.
In a letter dated October 2, President Museveni explained his decision, citing an ongoing inquiry involving Justice Kisaakye.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is currently investigating alleged comments made by the judge about Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo following the conclusion of the 2021 presidential poll petition hearing at the Supreme Court.
President Museveni wrote, “I have received your letter of the 18th of July, 2023, tendering in your early retirement. As per the law, I cannot obstruct your wishes. However, that will pre-empt the work of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry or the Tribunal.”
Highlighting the nature of the inquiry, the President continued, “Apparently, you made some strong statements against the Chief Justice. Either those statements were right or were wrong. It is the Tribunal that can conclude that. It is thereafter that the way forward will be clear for you.”
The history of tension between Justice Kisaakye and Chief Justice Owinyi-Dollo includes a scuffle during the 2021 presidential election petition when Owinyi-Dollo confiscated Kisaakye’s file, preventing her from reading her decision. The altercation was followed by a lawsuit in which Kisaakye accused Owinyi-Dollo and Judiciary permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana of withholding her salary.