By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: The breaking news reaching on our desk is that the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo who has been acting as Chief Justice following Katureebe’s retirement, has fully occupied the office after being appointed the Uganda’s Chief Justice.
The chief Justice has been appointed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who deputized him with Justice Richard Buteera and now the duo awaits confirmation by the Parliamentary Appointments committee to officially start executing their duties.
Justice Owiny’s appointment follows retirement of former chief justice Bart Magunda Katureebe who stepped down two months back after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
After Katureebe’s retirement, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) started conducting interviews to fill the position of Chief of Justice and Justice Owiny-Dollo is among the names that the commission forwarded to the President for consideration.
Among the other names that were forwarded included, Supreme Court justices Richard Buteera, a member of the Supreme Court of Uganda since September 2017 and Esther Mayambala Kisaakye the Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda a position she has served in since July 2009.
Owiny-Dollo 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.
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 Riek Machar, the Vice President of South Sudan, who mediated the talks.
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.