isaac kimaze ssemakadde biography (1)
Who is Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde?

Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde is a Ugandan attorney who describes himself as an anti-clockwise thinker. He can’t obey standing orders and likes to question society.

Ssemakadde is a brilliant human rights defender who says specific occurrences have shaped his thinking ever since his school days. He used to question culture and traditions.

He does not want to be understood by everybody, because his business is not to please people but rather to represent his clientele.

In April 2018, Ssemakadde was named the most outstanding public interest litigation lawyer in Uganda by the Uganda Law Society.

Early Life and Education

Counsel Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde (1)
Isaac Ssemakadde began his legal career at a reputable law firm, Bowmans (A.F. Mpanga Advocates). FILE PHOTO

Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde was born in Masaka District to a business family who particularly conducted business in Kikuubo, Kampala city.

He attended Bright Grammar School, in Masaka District from where he obtained his Primary Leaving Examination (PLE). Ssemakadde passed PLE with top grades thereby winning a scholarship at St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) from where he attained his O’&A certificates.

Thereafter, Ssemakadde joined Makerere University on a government scholarship, after obtaining top grades in Senior Six and graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Law. 

And during his time at Makerere University, he served as the President Makerere University Law Society.

Ssemakadde is described as a legal rebel and with his dreaded hairstyle; many have drowned criticisms at him. His mission is to change the world from layman misconceptions and common nomenclature.

Ssemakadde points out that they are trying to reinvent the law, their own way via humble means as humanely as possible. He tells fashion is in his blood, something he cannot live without, he loves all about fashion and is so passionate about it.

Defending his stand on fashion, Ssemakadde says he will not let time pass him by, because he’s still young with a right to do some experimental fashion procedures. 

However, he asserts that he tries to be good at whatever he does because he represents the voices of the unheard people in society.

Work and Experience

Counsel Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde began his career at Bowmans (A.F Mpanga Advocates), one of the most reputable law firms in the country. 

Thereafter, Ssemakadde co-founded Legal Brains Trust with a colleague while studying at the Law Development Centre (LDC).

Legal Brains Trust which is sometimes referred to as The Shrine, Ark and The Last Chance Saloon is a universal firm that handles any type of case regardless. It doesn’t lock out a certain calibre of people; it’s just open to everybody. 

Ssemakadde defended Stella Nyanzi after being charged with cyber harassment and offensive communication against President Museveni, the President of Uganda and his wife, the First Lady of Uganda Janet Kataha Museveni in a Facebook post.

This case was politically and socially risky but Semakadde took it up because it is his interest and obligation to defend society. He is very much interested in democracy, human rights, fairness, freedom, equality, progress, unity and the rule of law.

Ssemakadde who specialized in commercial law, strategic litigation, consumer law, human rights and research, says committed public interest attorneys Prof. Joe Oloka Onyango and Sylvia Tamale shaped his world views and post-university experience. 

Controversy

lawyer Ssemakadde defended Stella Nyanzi (1)
After Stella Nyanzi’s Facebook post, Ssemakadde defended her against charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication against President Museveni, the President of Uganda, and Janet Kataha Museveni, the First Lady of Uganda. FILE PHOTO

In 2020, Isaac Ssemakadde called the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) a rotten tomato. This is when she sanctioned the file to prosecute embattled Mityana Municipality Legislator Francis Zaake for disobeying lawful orders.

Also, in 2021, Ssemakadde filed a case against the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance challenging circumstances in which they awarded tender to accommodate the 2,000 Afghanistan evacuees to city tycoon Karim Hirji. 

The US government wanted them to a short stay in Uganda following the war that erupted in Afghanistan. 

Ssemakadde as well advised law students that the bar course offered at the Law Development Center is unnecessary. He made the remarks during a talk to Makerere University School of Law students, on clinical legal education. He said LDC exists because of the law but is no longer relevant.

According to him, LDC does not make someone a successful legal practitioner, and activist. He reasons that LDC should instead turn into an examining body like UNEB.

Family

Isaac Ssemakadde is not married but has children.

Leisure Time

Isaac Ssemakadde spends his free time listening to music. His favourite musicians are; the late Paulo Kafeero and Ahawn Mendes.

He loves spending time playing with his son, as well as making new friends. He loves reading books as well.