Supreme Court Lady Justice Dr Esther Kitimbo Kisaakye has announced her early retirement from the Judiciary where she has served Ugandans for more than10 years.
Kisaakye’s early retirement was detailed in a letter dated 18th July 2023 to President Museveni who is the appointing authority noting that she has clocked retirement age.
“Article 144 (1) of the Constitution of Uganda permits a Judicial Officer to retire at any time after attaining the age of sixty years. I am now aged 63 years . In accordance with the said article, I hereby tender in my early retirement from the Supreme Court.” Kisaakye said in her letter
President Museveni appointed Kisaakye to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court on October 12th, 2009 and by the time she wrote this letter, she had served in the Supreme Court for 13 years and ten months.
“I thank you and the people of Uganda for having give me the opportunity to serve my country as a Justice of the Supreme Court.” she added.
Kisaakye’s early retirement comes amidst a fights between her and Judiciary’s top leadership which began in March 2021 during the hearing of a presidential petition filed by National Unity Platform (NUP) former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, who was challenging President Museveni’s victory.
The eight justices – Chibita, Percy Tuhaise, Owiny-Dollo, Stella Arach-Amoko, Faith Mwondha, Rubby Aweri-Opio and Ezekiel Muhanguzi – gave one ruling explaining the reasons why they had rejected two of Kyagulanyi’s applications, in which he sought to amend his petition, and also one in which he wanted his more than 200 additional affidavits allowed out of time.
When the eight were done reading their combined ruling, it was Justice Kisaakye’s turn to read her “dissenting ruling”, but Justice Owiny-Dollo first asked for a short break which turned into a long break. Later, Kisaakye came back to deliver her ruling just inked on papers and explained that during the short-turned-long break, CJ Dollo had forcefully used police officers to confiscate her file containing her full ruling.
Since the above incident happened, Kisaakye has been accusing the Chief Justice and other top judicial officers of taking her through all sorts of mistreatment including withholding her salary and denying her work, among others.
In fact, Kisaakye ealier this year sued Dollo jointly with Dr Pius Bigirimana the permanent secretary to the judiciary, Sarah Langa Siu the Chief Registrar of Courts of Judicature, Apophia Tumwine the Commissioner of Human Resources Judiciary, the Judicial Service Commission and the Attorney General.
She accuses the respondents to have jointly and consistently engaged in acts that are inconsistent with the constitution among them including; failure to recognize and or follow seniority at the Supreme court, secretive investigations against her disguised as a general inquiry, denial of leave, denial of her driver and bodyguards leave and allowances, refusal to allocate her work by the chief justice, withdrawal and refusal to reinstate her research assistant, denial of a letter of undertaking to her bankers and her subsequent removal from the judiciary and government payroll and it’s believed that it is these frustrations that have forced her to go into early retirement.