Renowned Human Rights Lawyer and activist Nicholas Opiyo has pledged to go beyond just supporting Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka (DNK) in the Uganda Law Society (ULS) presidential election and committed himself to holding her accountable to the promises she is making on the campaign trail. Mr. Opiyo also confessed that his choice of candidate has proven the greatest commitment to rule of law among everyone else contesting.
While speaking on Twitter Spaces last night, a platform organized to meet and interact with the candidate, Mr. Opiyo said he has in the past supported some ULS Presidents that he later felt went astray and didn’t meet the expectations of the electorate – something he admitted can never be guaranteed in any democracy.
“DNK is different. I have known her for a very long time to be a mobilizer, a listener and a people person. She is very passionate about rule of law and has stood with me so many times when the powers that be sought to exercise the law unjustly.” Opiyo said.
According to Opiyo, Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka’s commitment to rule of law in Uganda stands over and above all the rest of the candidates in the race and that’s what (above all) convinced him to support her for President.
“We can talk about membership, about the Judiciary and SACCOs, but if there is no rule of law, all those things are meaningless. Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka’s commitment to rule of law for me, stands over and above that of all of the other candidates in the race.” Nick Opiyo concluded.
In the space that was hosted by Lawyer Jordan Tumwesigye, a Program Manager at Global Rights Alert, Ms Kibuuka was discussing her plans for the law society in regards to welfare and the rule of law. She discussed her plans of executing the idea for a SACCO of the Uganda Law Society noting that it would be a voluntary option for the members and no one would be “forced” to subscribe.
“Our campaign has focused on strengthening the membership of ULS because we know the value that we would get from committed members and the obstacles we can skip with that unity. The issue of a members’ SACCO isn’t new and I am aware that inside the association, members have their own SACCOs and savings groups organized under their class groups and friendships. That is why the ULS SACCO would be a voluntary option for anyone that is willing to be part of it.” Ms Kibuuka said.
She allowed some time on the Twitter Spaces for the CEO of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) SACCO Mr. Ogosi Ogosi who took the members through the operations of their own SACCO and weighed in on measures they can take to have a functional one in Uganda as well.
Asked what plans she has for young lawyers’ career development, Ms Kibuuka committed to advocating for an Open Day where all legal departments in private practice, government and corporations come together to mentor and discuss opportunities for young lawyers wherever they are.
“One of the proposals I want to make is to have an open day where young lawyers in private practise, corporate spaces, and government can learn about what is happening, opportunities in other legal departments and how they can participate.” She said.
Other notable lawyers that spoke to move their endorsement of Ms Kibuuka were Makerere Law Don Dr. Caroline Adoch and Ivan Bwowe (a former Makerere University Guild President).
Lawyers will vote in a new president and executive for the Uganda Law Society (ULS) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 10th in Entebbe. Ms Kibuuka is competing with 5 other aspirants for the position with just a few days to the voting day.
Listen to the entire Twitter Spaces session here;