By Ronald Kabuubi/Kmaupdates
Uganda’s Parliament paid tribute to the former Deputy Chief Justice Lady Justice Laetitia Kikonyogo on Thursday afternoon in a Special sitting presided over by the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.
The late Kikonyogo died last Thursday at Nakasero hospital following a heart attack.
The Casket containing her remains arrived at Parliament in the afternoon.
She will be remembered for being Uganda’s first woman Chief Magistrate, first woman Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda and the first woman to be appointed a High Court judge in History.
During the sitting, Uganda’s Deputy Prime Minister Gen Moses Ali moved a motion for the house to pay tribute to Kikonyogo.
“There is value in pioneering. This is a lesson we learn from the Late Leticia Kikonyogo, the other question we should ask ourselves, what legacy shall we leave behind, dead or alive? When we are out of Parliament”, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah said.
Uganda’s Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Mwesigwa Rukutana noted that “It is true that the President made a commitment that retirement benefits for judges were going to be improved under a new bill, however, the Late Kikonyogo was receiving her due benefits as provided for under the current law”.
“When things get tough, tough women stand up, where are the men? I am always asking myself this question, the Late Lady Justice stood up after the black mambas invaded the courts”. Dokolo Constituency MP Cecilia Ogwal said.
She was also praised for her tireless efforts for being a human rights defender especially on women matters.
The Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS also recognized her services in addressing issues of domestic violence, while Nkumba University Law Society also recognized her as its patron.
Standard Chartered Bank recognised Mukasa- Kikonyogo for a true partnership.
She was awarded Lubaga National Foundation Women Honoree 2005 by the Association of Women Uganda.
Born on 2nd September 1940, Laetitia was a Ugandan lawyer and judge. Prior to her retirement from the bench, she was a member of the Court of Appeal of Uganda.
She also studied at Somerville College Oxford for a postgraduate diploma in Social Anthropology (1964-1965) and at the Inner Temple and Council of Legal Education – London for a Bar course and Barrister at Law degree (1965-1968).
The late Kikonyogo went to Busuubizi Girls’ Primary School (1948-1952), Trinity College, Nabbingo for ‘O’ Level (1953-1958), King’s College, Budo for ‘A’ Level (1959-1960) before joining Makerere University where she graduated with B.A London certificate (1964-1968).
In the Catholic Church, she was appointed as a Papal Dame by Pope Benedict XVI. She was one of the first ever women papal knights in the history of the Catholic Church in Africa.