Good afternoon, Mr Nelson Walusimbi. Welcome back from the race for the Presidency of ULS
Thank you. It was really a long one. The longest in the history of this institution, thanks to Covid-19.
Pheona Nabasa Wall won. Could you please contextualize her win for our readers.
First, for the record, I have congratulated her. She ran a strong, consistent and clear minded campaign to her credit.
I understand you ran for the ULS Presidency while maintaining a law suit against the Society you sought to lead. As someone who has been outspoken on ULS matters, where does this leave you?
Well, ULS clearly has three tendencies. A far right which feels entitled and had developed impunity even from their conduct of their part of the campaign. That seems to be in disarray.
Pheona Wall to me represents the centrist tendency perhaps another reason she was trusted with the office at this time. For now I continue to lead the centre-left which believes in an institution that is member centered, responsive to young lawyers issues, accountable and inclusive.
As I have shared, our commitment to these issues survives the recent campaign and I foresee these commitments keeping us busy for the foreseeable term. It is always a long walk….
If Pheona was helped by a centrist stand as you say, why not move to the centre in your views too?
Well, that may be convenient but I find centrist thinking indecisive to move us forward. We can survive for a moment but in the end the views we represent will have to either prevail or be dominated by the corrupt far right of the society. A number of us are not willing to continue as second class members.
In just this recent election many members did not vote because of not having paid subscription fees! We think that is neither tenable nor legal and we should not continue as a classist institution.
Tell us about the suit you filled against ICAMEK. You know at the last AGM, the issue of the ULS withdrawing out of ICAMEK because of your suit took centre stage. What was it about?
Well, at the last AGM a resolution was passed to pull ULS from the private company ICAMEK. Our action was to safeguard arbitration in Uganda and keep it in line with the path of legality as provided in the arbitration laws.
We are serving the public good.
And what of the talk that you were sponsored by Dr Sudhir Ruparelia to contest for the ULS Presidency. How do you respond?
False. Totally false. I doubt that the gentleman even knows that ULS just had an election. Yes, I know him in a client- advocate context but that’s it.
Where do you see the law society in the next few years?
It will likely resolve its contradictions which by the way are healthy. I also foresee the ULS Act being amended to bring the institution up to par with the times and cement the issues we are addressing.The future is bright.
Your last word to members?
It’s not just to members but the public because you know ULS has an enormous public mandate especially regarding matters to do with and incidental to the law. So when we have this institution run down we cheat both its members and the public. So the parting word is that there is an ongoing effort to clean up this institution and the efforts will bear fruit in the right season.
Thank you Sir for your time
You are welcome.
Benjamin is a Digital Legal News Journalist (trained by Reuters) and digital media enthusiast who founded The Legal Reports website in January, 2020 while a fourth year law student at Makerere University school of law.
Prior to that, Benjamin used to write amateur blogs and some of his legal commentaries were published by the Daily Monitor and Independent Magazine - both leading publications in Uganda. He covers lawyers, law students, judges, judiciary, courts, law schools, and law firms.