Meet Justice Kenneth Kakuru, The No Nonsense Judge

  • by Dennis Ola
  • July 27, 2018

Justice Kenneth Kakuru

“I find and declare that, one, the entire constitutional amendment act one of 2018 is unconstitutional and therefore null and void. All its provision ought to be expunged from the Constitution of Uganda,” Justice Kakuru said in his ruling in relation to the amendment that removed presidential age limits.

Justice Kakuru observed that there was no public participation before carrying out amendment of the
Constitution. The process of the amendment, he noted, was a planned ambush since the Bill was introduced in Parliament, debated and passed on the same day.
Overall, the judge declared that the process of the amending the Constitution unconstitutional and a nullity.

He was the only one to quash the entire process and act of amending the constitution to remove age limits from the constitution but who is Justce Kakuru?

He was one of the direct appointments into the judiciary from private practice. He also issued a minority view that all interim orders made by a single judge of the Constitutional Court which are in force were null and void and of no effect in the matter of Murisho Shafi & 4 others against Kalisa & Another (Misc. Application No. 0437 of 2016)13 petitioning the Constitutional Court for a temporary injunction restraining the IGG and Attorney General and prosecution from the Anti-Corruption Court until the petition is determined at the Constitutional Court.

He was appointed justice of the Court of Appeal in 2013, having been a sometimes activist advocate for over 30 years. Some of the high-profile cases that Kakuru decided include the 2012 challenge by Asuman Irumba and Peter Megelah of the 1965 Land Acquisition Act which they said was inconsistent with Article 26 of the Constitution.

Education background

Kakuru attended local schools for his primary and secondary school education. He studied law at Makerere University, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. Later, he graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree, also from Makerere University. His Diploma in Legal Practice was obtained from the Law Development Centre, in Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. He also holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Educational Policy Planning and Development, awarded by Kyambogo University, according to the online encyclopedia.

Work History

Kakuru is the founder and Senior Partner of the law firm of Kakuru & Company Advocates, a Kampala-based law firm, established in 1987. He established a reputation as an environmental rights attorney and an expert in public interest litigation. He founded as still serves as a non-executive director of Greenwatch Uganda, an environmental advocacy non-profit.

Judicial career

In May 2013, Kakuru was appointed directly to the Uganda Court of Appeal. Among his professional affiliations, he is a member of the Uganda Law Society, the East African Law Society, the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide and the International Bar Association.

Other considerations

He is an associate professor at the Uganda Pentecostal University, based in Fort Portal, Kabarole District. He is also an external examiner at the Law Development Center.


Kenneth Kakuru was married to the late Winnie Ikiriza Kakuru (1 June 1958 to 8 March 2009), from 12 September 1987 until her death in 2009, and together they are the parents of three children, Sama, Tracy and Rose. On 14 January 2012, he married Charity Nankunda Kakuru, his current wife.

Others Judges 

  1. Hon. Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo

Appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2015, he served as a High Court judge from 2008 and was part of President Museveni’s defense (research) team in the 2006 election petition by Dr. Kizza Besigye. He had also served in various political positions both as a Member of Parliament and as a Minister of state. He has handled a number of cases ranging from both criminal and civil. He heard the 2010 Kyadondo terror case where he convicted seven terror suspects.

  1. Hon. Justice Remmy Kasule

He currently serves as the Chairperson, Law Council and became judge of the High Court in 2004 serving at the criminal division and became Justice of the Court of Appeal in 2011. During his time, he held a number of cases of political nature. He is known for his minority ruling that rejected the ejection of NRM ‘rebel’ MPs from parliament having been expelled by the party. He also extended the interim order that halted the treason trial of Nakawa division MP, Hon. Michael Kabaziguruka at the General Court Martial.

  1. Hon. Justice Cheborion Barishaki

He has been a Justice of the Court of Appeal since 2015. Prior to that, he served in the office of the Attorney General and in the Ministry of Justice and constitutional affairs as the director, civil litigation. In 2003, the then Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs interdicted him on allegations of misrepresentation of the state in a case against it.

  1.  Lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke

She has been a justice of the Court of Appeal since 2015. She became a High Court Judge in 2013 until 2015. She had also served as a Principle state attorney before joining the Inspectorate of Government as the director, Legal Affairs in 1999. On 28th March 2018, one of the parties in the petition submitted a notice of recusal to her on grounds of conflict of interest on allegations of having an affair with the current Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana and Minister Hillary Onek.