Mugisha Muntu Eulogizes Laeticia Kikonyogo
Fellow Ugandans,Today, I would like to pay my respects to one of the nation’s finest daughters, the late Lady Justice Laeticia Eulalia Mary Mukasa Kikonyogo our former Deputy Chief Justice.
While she and I were mere acquaintances, Lady Justice Kikonyogo was a trailblazer in more ways than meets the eye.
Long before she became the first female Deputy Chief Justice, she had already broken boundaries as the first female Grade 1 magistrate, first female Chief Magistrate and first female High Court Judge.
Even at the court of Appeal, she was the first woman to be appointed.
But as is usually the case with trailblazers, her influence wasn’t limited to the courtroom. A deeply spiritual person, Kikonyogo was also very active the Catholic church and was one of the first women ever on the African continent to be appointed a Papal Dame.
At the time of her death, it has been said that she had not received her retirement benefits. As infuriating and unacceptable as this is, it has unfortunately become a recurring theme in the workings of this failing government.
If someone who honourably served as the country’s sixth citizen was denied the decency of a dignifying retirement, how about the millions of Ugandans serving in the army, police force, schools and other civil service positions?
This is the tragic consequence of not institutionalising services; that people constantly have to rely on backdoor deals and political godparents to access what is rightly theirs.
My condolences go to Joseph Kyagulanyi Kikonyongo and your entire family upon your loss.
Yet as we prepare to lay to rest such a towering legal mind, let us all remember not just how she died, but also how she lived.
Let us be inspired by the story of a young ordinary girl in a little-known Busuubuzi Girls’ Primary School that dared to dream big.
If Lady Justice Kikonyogo could break boundaries and shatter glass ceilings that society had placed on girls and Africans, there is yet hope that we as a country can break the chains that currently hold us back and step forth into our glorious, prosperous and God-ordained destiny.
May Laeticia rest in the arms of the everlasting God she so well served.
Mugisha Muntu is former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president