Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo on Thursday became a centre of controversy when his colleague at Supreme Court Justice Esther Kisakye accused him of confiscating her ruling file.
In a dramatic incident unheard of in the Judiciary, Kisakye told the media that the Chief Justice didn’t want her to deliver her dissenting judgment in the withdrawn case in which Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine had challenged the presidential elections of January 14th.
“I informed the court that I will be delivering my consolidated rulings on the four applications. My colleagues have opted not to attend this afternoon session,” Justice Kisakye said, adding that she was surprised that her colleagues opted to shun the afternoon session.
She further noted that the box containing her ruling had been confiscated on the orders of Chief Justice Dollo.
Who is Chief Justice Dollo?
He was born on 18 January 1956 in present-day Agago District. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University, and a Diploma in Legal Practice, from the Law Development Centre in Kampala, Uganda’s largest city and capital.
His Master of Arts in conflict resolution, was obtained from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. He also has a certificate in advanced conflict mediation skills, obtained from the Center for Conflict Resolution, in Cape Town, South Africa.
In 1988, Owiny-Dollo served as legal counsel in the peace talks between the then rebel outfit, Uganda People’s Democratic Movement (UPDM), and the government of Uganda. In that capacity, he wrote the peace agreement executed between the government and UPDM, on 3 June 1988, at Pece Stadium, in Gulu.
From 1994 until 1996, he was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1995 Uganda Constitution. He also served as a member of parliament, representing Agago County in the 6th Parliament (1996–2001).
During the talks between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the National Resistance Movement government of Uganda, from 2006 until 2008, Owiny-Dollo served as legal counsel to Reik Machar, the Vice President of South Sudan, who mediated the talks.
In 2008, he was appointed to the High Court of Uganda,serving in that capacity until 2015.
In 2015, Owiny-Dollo, was promoted to the Court of Appeal of Uganda. However, he couldn’t immediately take up his appointment because he was hearing a terrorism case in the High Court, in which 13 men were accused of killing 76 people in twin bombings in Kampala in 2010. He disposed of that case in May 2016.
In August 2017, the president of Uganda, appointed Owiny-Dollo, as the Deputy Chief Justice and under Ugandan law, the head of Uganda’s Court of Appeal and Uganda’s Constitutional Court.
On 20 August 2020, the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni appointed him as the 13th Chief Justice of Uganda, replacing Bart Magunda Katureebe, who clocked the mandatory retirement age of 70, on 19 June 2020.
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