The legal fraternity has paid tribute to the late Peter Ainembabazi
Kibirango, who has been an advocate with Orima & Co. Advocates succumbed to
injuries on Friday night at Case Clinic in Kampala.
This was after he was beaten by a mob for mistakenly picking a
customer's phone at a Mobile Money kiosk in Mutungo, a Kampala suburb.
It was an emotional requiem service at St. Luke Church in Ntinda, as lawyers, family
and friends paid tribute to Kibirango whom they described as a defender of the
Human rights activist and Centre for Legal Aid founder Isaac Ssemakadde said
Kibirango was one of their brightest lights in human rights and social justice
in the country.
“Peter had a rare gift for connecting with people at that difficult moment –
whether it was a group of journalists banned from court as in the landmark
case of Uganda Court Reporters Association v. Attorney General; or a group of
youthful activists who had been wrongfully arrested, detained and prosecuted
for registering unemployed graduates or for criticizing Members of Parliament
as greedy pigs,” Ssemakadde said.
“Peter shone best when representing wrongfully terminated individuals,
wrongfully convicted individuals, and wrongfully evicted or cheated widows who
had all but given up hope for a second chance. In all of those and so many more
cases which we worked together, Peter Kibirango was the client’s rock-solid
bridge to justice,’ he added.
Tommy Ogwang, one of the deceased's partners at Orima and Company advocates said they want justice for Kibirango and asked the police not to
treat the death of Kibirango as an act of mob justice.
Ogwang described the deceased as a humble and down to earth lawyer that sometimes
clients would mistake him for a clerk.
//Cue in: “Peter was humble and very calm…
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According to James Orima, Kibirango was an ambitious and industrious man who
would spent his entire salary on buying land back home in Mbarara and Ibanda as
well as grow bananas and rear goats.
Orima says despite having bought a car, Kibirango, preferred to
walk on streets, use taxis and Boda Boda to and from work. At the age of 40,
Orima says Kibirango was now beginning to enjoy the fruits of his hard work
only to be cut short by a mob.
“When he bought a car, Peter was very happy and it was one of his goals. He
didn’t know how to drive but would hire a driver. One time I was leaving office
late and it was Peter’s car in the parking I called him only to tell me he was
home. He told me he had forgotten he had a car,” Orima told mourners in church.
Uganda Law Society President Peter Kinobe said Kibirango was a humble advocate
who gave his time, his brains, and his meagre resources to ensure that justice
is served to all people. He challenged all lawyers in the country to emulate
//Cue in: “He wasn’t born to chase money …
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Topher Gimei, the Kampala Metropolitan North Regional CID Commander who said shared
a bed with Kibirango while at Uganda Christian University vowed on behalf of
police to ensure that the deceased gets justice.
//Cue in: “We still believe as police…
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According Gimei, police responded very first to rescue Kibirango from the mob
and rushed him to hospital. He says that two people have been arrested in connection
to the case.
“By the time police reached the place, they had beaten him badly and they were
continuing to beat until police was forced to fire in the air several times for
them to leave him. But of course he was unconscious at that time, rushed to
hospital where he eventually died,” Gimei told mourners.
Kibirango’s fiancé Phiona Atwijuka described him as a rock, and a
fighter committed not only to her but also his work. The two were getting
married in December.
//Cue in: “As it is not easy to find a man…
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Kibirango will be laid to rest on Tuesday at Kigando village, Biharwe sub-county in Mbarara district.