Six candidates have been nominated to compete and serve as President of the Uganda Law Society (ULS) for the year 2022/2023.
According to Uganda Law Society Elections Committee Chairman, George Omunyokol, the nominated candidates are Karemire Mugagga Mukuve, Bernard Oundo, Diana Angwech, Shuaib Kubai Rayan Chemisto, Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka and Olivia Kyarimpa Matovu.
Mr. Oundo is currently President of the East Africa Law Society, whose term expires in November this year.
The six nominated candidates should replace the outgoing president, Pheona Wall Nabasa, who has been in office for two years.
For the post of vice-president, Martin Asingwire Baryaruha, has since been declared unopposed since he was the only candidate to be interested. He will now replace Ms Angwech, who is eyeing the presidency.
Other candidates who have gone through the process unopposed include Mr. Isaac Newton Kyagaba for the position of treasurer, and Jimmy Madira, as member of the northern region representative council.
Other vacancies are secretary and three council members for regional representation from west, east and central.
The roles of the President of the Uganda Law Society include; maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession; representing, protecting and assisting members of the legal profession and protecting and assisting members of the public in matters affecting matters incidental or incidental to law.
Elections are scheduled for September 10 during the annual general meeting which is due to be held at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe.
The outgoing Uganda Law Society Vice President has promised to improve compliance with standards of practice by streamlining and automating the procedures for issuing certificates of practice. She also promised to strengthen the online library to create case databases for lawyers according to technological development. Ms. Angwech also pledged to advocate for the amendment of the ULS Act to create an enabling environment, mentorship and integration of young lawyers into society to increase professionalism. She also pledged to create a member welfare policy to respond to member development and create platforms and open communication channels with stakeholders to ensure accountability and improved service delivery mechanisms.
In its 14-page manifesto, Mukuve promises to partner with reputable private sector research and data firms to conduct periodic membership surveys, conduct our research and analysis, and produce reports.
He also undertook to reform the corporate structure of the ULS to provide for a “member relations” department headed by a manager and assistants who had received adequate corporate training in customer relations and customer service management.
Other reforms he wants to implement if elected are; prompt publication of the ULS annual report, spending caps on administration expenses, approval of the ULS budget before expenses, and the establishment of a ULS finance committee to explore cost reductions and income stream.
Once elected as the next president of the lawyers, Kibuuka pledged to provide a strong secretariat to meet the needs of members and empower them to grow professionally and financially. Kibuuka, a partner of Mukumbya Musoke Advocates, also pledged to build membership by leveraging members’ leadership, experience, resources and influence to address members’ professional and social concerns. She has extensive experience in banking and finance, tax compliance, insolvency, non-governmental organizations, immigration and conveyancing.
In its four-point strategy, Matovu promises to build on the legacy of those who came before them, strengthening their core mandate and creating new regional and international frontiers and opportunities for lawyers. It also promises to create a society focused on putting each lawyer, their aspirations, their communities and their country at the centre.
Chemisto promised to engage the judiciary to create a conducive work environment where lawyers are treated with respect. He also promised to revive the practice of inviting lawyers to the magistracy (judiciary) and also revive the practice of standing on a case and inviting lawyers to chambers. Further in its manifesto, Chemisto pledged to have quarterly engagements with the Office of the Chief Justice and Chief Registrar on such cases of disrespect in the judiciary for constructive engagement with the judicial officer(s). respective and all officers of the court in general.
If elected as the next president of lawyers, Oundo has pledged to establish a task force to review legislation to identify, augment and delineate the work that is statutorily the prerogative of lawyers.
Also in his three-point programme, Oundo promised to ensure that there are meaningful consequences for offenders through judicial and administrative measures.
The outgoing President of the East Africa Law Society also pledged to engage different stakeholders to implement and enforce the ‘Hands Off Our Legal Work’ plan.
Oundo has a proven track record of stakeholder engagement and as the outgoing President of the East Africa Law Society, he successfully engaged multiple stakeholders on the role of the regional society in supporting the integration of the ‘East Africa.