Kyaka South Member of Parliament Kafuuzi Karugaba has finally been cleared to take the office of Deputy Attorney General. This comes after Parliamentary Appointments Committee Chaired by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga cleared him Friday morning.
President Museveni last December reshuffled Cabinet and appointed Kafuuzi as Deputy Attorney General replacing Hon Mwesigwa Rukutana. However Parliamentary Appointments Committee declined to clear him claiming he had no experience as high court advocate and never took Oath with other new Ministers at State House.
According to the Ugandan Constitution, a person shall not be qualified to be appointed Deputy Attorney General unless he or she is qualified to practice as an advocate of the High Court and has practised or gained the necessary experience for not less than seven years.
However, MP Kafuuzi claims he has an experience of 13 years and challenged the argument that the absence of an advocates certificate, presented a lacuna in his competency.
During an exclusive Interview Kafuuzi he said, one does not need a practicing certificate unless they are going to court.
“If I am going to do research, if I am going to draft pleadings, if I am going to do law reporting, if I am going to negotiate contracts, if I am going to sit on the legal and Parliamentary affairs committee, I do not need a practicing certificate,” Kafuuzi said.
According to Members of the Appointments Committee, Hon Kafuuzi provided several other documents to support his work experience and was more composed and answered questions ably.
Nakaseke South MP Paulson Luttamaguzi Semakula says that the last time Kafuuzi failed to answer crucial questions, and did not have documents backing him.
Hon Kafuuzi says he managed to convince the committee about his experience, and that he specifically cleared the air on the issues of the practicing certificates, adding that the court has already confirmed that he is an advocate with practicing experience.
“Honestly speaking, certificates are not a prerequisite for some areas, practicing certificates are not required but it’s important for the committee to inquire into those areas because you’re going to be an Attorney General who is required to practice,” he said.
He added“You know they asked me that question when I appeared before the committee and I told them it was difficult for me to start listing cases. The biggest case I have ever handled was a petition by an NGO called HURINET to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). We were challenging the trial of civilians in the military and we got the judgment in 2018. The committee is not answerable to me; it’s answerable to the president so I will just keep my fingers crossed,”
Kafuuzi graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University in 2002 and obtained a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in 2003. From that time, he has been in service as a Legal Officer and later as an Advocate at Rwakafuuzi& Co. Advocates, until 2016 when he joined parliament.SR