Justice Mulyagonja Parliament for vetting
Justice Mulyagonja and other nominated judges appear before the Parliamentary appointments committee for vetting. File Photo

Justice Mulyagonja and 14 other nominated judges appear before the Parliamentary appointments committee for vetting.

The Inspector-General of Government (IGG), Justice Mulyagonja and 14 other judicial officers appointed by President Museveni as judges of the Court of Appeal and High Court had on Friday appeared before the Parliamentary appointments committee for vetting.

The group that arrived in the morning are currently undergoing the vetting process by the committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

Last week, President Museveni appointed Justice Mulyagonja to the Court of Appeal position, a move that would see her leave the IGG job before the end of her tenure early next year.

Justice Mulyagonja along with lawyer Muzamiru Kibeedi and High Court Judge Monica Mugyenyi Kalyegira were appointed to control the Court of Appeals.

Those appointed to the High Court included; Vincent Emmy Mugabo, the public relations officer of the Judiciary, Immaculate Busingye, Isaac Muwata, Jesse Byaruhanga Rugyema, Isah Serukuma, Susan Abinyo, all registrars in the courts of Judicature.

Esta Nambayo, the current Chief Registrar, Jane Okuo Kajuga, the spokesperson of the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Boniface Wamala, the personal assistant to the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Philip Odoki, the personal assistant to the Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo, Victoria Katamba Nakintu Nkwanga and Jeanne Rwakakoko were also part of the group.

The appointment of the 12 High Court judges now brings the total number of judges to 62. Though the approved Parliament structure for High Court judges is 82, meaning, they are less than 20.

After a demotion, Justice Mulyagonja is now set to serve in the Court of Appeal. She was appointed IGG in April 2012 replacing Justice Faith Mwondha.

On 12 April 2012, she was appointed as the fourth Inspector General of Government, since 1986, following in the footsteps of Augustine Ruzindana, Jotham Tumwesigye, and Faith Mwondha.

As a Ugandan lawyer and judge who has been the Inspector General of Government since 12 April 2012, Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza also served as a justice of the High Court of Uganda, from 2008 until 2012.

She was born in 1963, in the city of Jinja, in the Eastern Region of Uganda. Her father was a civil engineer and entrepreneur, who owned his own construction company, and her mother was an elementary school teacher.

She grew up in an upper-middle-class family of 13 siblings, four of whom were biological, between her two parents, while eight were between her father and other partners.

Mulyagonja attended Naranbhai Road Primary School, in Jinja town, for her entire 7-year primary schooling. She studied at Mount Saint Mary’s College Namagunga for both her O-Level and A-Level education.

She was admitted to Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest and largest public university, to study law, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws degree. She also has a Diploma in Legal Practice, obtained from the Law Development Centre, in Kampala.

Her Master of Arts degree in Counseling was awarded by Makerere University. She also has a Diploma in Women’s Law, from the University of Zimbabwe.

In 1989, she was hired as an assistant lecturer at the Law Development Centre, serving in that capacity until 1993. She worked with two large law firms in Kampala, including at Muliira and Company Advocates.

When she left that firm in 1996, she and another female colleague, Eva Luswata Kawuma, formed Kakooza and Kawuma Advocates, an all-female law partnership.

The firm was hired by the Non-Performing Asset Recovery Trust (NPART), from 1997 until 2006 when the Trust closed down.

In 2008, at the age of 45 years, Mulyagonja was appointed to the High Court of Uganda. She was assigned to the Jinja circuit for the first two and one-half years.

She was then re-assigned to the commercial division of the high court, rising to the position of deputy head of the Commercial Division of the High Court, by the time she was appointed as Inspector General of Government, in 2012.

By John Dalton Kigozi