Retired Supreme Court Judge George Kanyeihamba Sued for Defamation

Supreme Court Judge Dr Esther Kisaakye has sued retired Judge Professor George Kanyeihamba for defamation.  The suit, filed before the Civil Division of High Court is based on contents of a letter contained in Kanyeihamba’s book titled; “IN THE NAME OF GOD TRUTH AND JUSTICE” 

The book reportedly contained a defamatory letter authored by Professor Kanyeihamba who was reportedly complaining about Dr Kisaakye’s academic qualifications, judicial conduct and corruption. The letter, to the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, also indicated that Kisaakye was always dissenting judgements that would affect the Executive arm of government. 

“Nevertheless, in your public utterances defending alleged corrupt and dishonorable Judicial Officers, you were silent on Justice Esther Kisaakye. You did not say that she is a subject of investigations either”, reads Kanyeihamba’ letter to Katureebe. The letter is dated January 18 2016.  

Kisaakye says that Kanyeihamba’s complaint tantamount to unlawful conduct contrary to the constitutional and statutory provisions for filing complaints against a judge. The required procedure is that one writes to the Judicial Service Commission as opposed to filing a complaint to the Chief Justice. 

According to Kisaakye, the said letter implied that she is an incompetent Judge with loose morals, lacked integrity, and depicted her as one who delivers dissenting judgements with an improper and corrupt motive and one who delivers substandard decisions which do not have any merit. 

Kisaakye explains that at the time of the publication of his book which has been sold worldwide, she was aged 56 with a distinguished career spanning 35 years, which had culminated into her appointment as a Supreme Court Judge in 2009. But, she adds, her career recorded a downward trend from the time the letter was published. 

The Chief Justice removed her from the position of Chairperson Uganda Judicial Training Committee where she had served for six years and withdrew her appointment as the Chairperson of the Judicial Monitoring Committee.  

Kisaakye says that Kanyeihamba’s conduct amounts to invasion of her privacy. She adds that she has since suffered emotional distress, embarrassment and that her personal reputation as well we her office have been adversely affected and caused her to be despised.                    

She now wants court to order Kanyeihamba to recall all the publications and destroy the same under supervision and refund her with 50,000 Shillings she spent to purchase the defamatory book.

Kisaakye further wants the court to order Kanyeihamba and the books’ publisher Michael Kalule Buwembo to hire a ‘Public Relations’ firm at their cost to rebuild her Image by publishing in prime space on a reputable television station content which is acceptable to her for a certain time to clear her image.  

The court is yet to summon Kanyeihamba to file his Defence.

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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