Retire to where? Only Death can take ‘us’ into retirement -Gen. Kahinda Otafiire

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire; Courtesy Photo

Internal Affairs minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire has said no one should expect bush-war generals like him to retire from service because, retirement has never been part of their plan.

Gen. Otafiire was speaking during a funeral service for the Late Justice Kenneth Kakuru at All Saints Church Nakasero on Friday.

He was responding to comments from the Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo implying that Kakuru had wanted to retire from the bench but he (Dollo) refused because he wanted him to stay on and be able to cope up with urgent financial requirements.

Otafiire said retirement from service is relative; and to bush-war generals, it doesn’t apply because service never stops.

“What you call retirement, I call it accomplishment. Some people are appointed to offices but for us (Luwero Bush-war heroes) we appointed ourselves to the service of the mankind. So, we shall retire when we stop serving mankind” He said.

As for him and some of his group, Otafiire said death can only put them out of service to makind.

“My calling is service to the people. I went to the bush not aware that I would retire. I could have retired there; I am here and if my biological past catches up with me and I go from active service, I will go into volunteer reserve, and continue service to mankind. I will retire last post; last post means when I follow Kakuru” he stated.

Justice Kakuru died on Tuesday morning at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi Kenya after a long battle against cancer, and a funeral service was held yesterday ahead of the burial today. The outspoken judge, had in 2021 applied to retire seven years earlier due to a health condition he was dealing with.

The Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo said Kakuru has been a valued member of the Appellate court Bench since his appointment on July 4, 2013 and will be greatly missed. Dollo lauded Kakuru as a judge who has been through in his actions and judgements, a human rights defender par excellence, and one who the Judiciary shall surely miss.

Justice Kakuru who gained fame for his dissenting judgment in the 2017 Constitutional amendment also known as ‘age limit case’, has been on the appellate court’s bench since 2013 when he was tapped from private practice.

Justice Kakuru was the only one of five judges to rule that the amendment to remove lower and upper age limits for presidential and local government candidates was done illegally.

He based his ruling on a number of factors, but especially on what he called lack of consultation of the public during the process of the amendment.



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