The late Justice of the Supreme Court, Alfred Ntunduguru Karokora has been laid to rest in his ancestral home in Mbarara municipality, with mourners commending him for his exceptional service in the judiciary.
The deceased who passed on August 30, 2019 was buried on Wednesday at his ancestral home in Ruharo ward, Kamukuzi Division in Mbarara municipality.
According to his son Michael Mugabi, the father died on Friday last week as a result of blockage of one of the vessels that supply blood to the heart.
Born in 1936, Karokora worked in the judiciary for over 43 years as a career judicial officer with vast experience on the bench.
His 9 children represented by Michael Mugabi celebrated the life of Karokora describing him as one who accomplished his duties as a father despite the little pay in the judiciary at the time.
“We decided to celebrate our father, we mourn for the loss. We celebrate him because of his contribution to this world, contribution to society, to us as a family and his country,” Mugabi said at the burial.
They described the father as an educationist that enabled his children to study to become what they are today.
“I want to thank dad for having educated us, none of us here has to go begging for what to eat. Dad educated us sufficiently well to survive in this society and you left us with necessary skills. Dad you fought your fight,” said Mugabi.
They also credited their father as a passionate man who devoted to the judicial service for over 43 years.
Mugabi said their father served the judiciary faithful, with integrity and hard work.
They noted that the father would spend most of his time reading and writing judgments.
“Being a judicial officer, you determine people’s fate, so you are not going to take people’s lives for granted. Dad would sit and read and peruse through volumes,” Mugabi said.
“Interestingly, our father was a very generous man even with the meager resources. Our cousin sisters and brothers would stay with us and share the same rights,” he said.
The widow (Anna Karokora) told mourners that his husband was a loving man who had never considered divorce.
“I will not tell you everything. But Judge loved me in this world I think I was among the blessed wives. It’s been 43 years of marriage”
Anna also described the late husband as a man who got satisfied with the little he had. For that reason, she said, Karokora had no single debt by the time he passed on.
“We used to keep poultry to pay school fees for our children to survive. He considered taking a bribe as an insult”
She said he drew many lessons from the late husband, notable among them the attribute of telling the truth.
“You wouldn’t tell him a secret. He would state it the way you said it, so sometimes I feared telling him certain things because he was likely to embarrass you,” said Anna.
In his speech, the former Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki described the deceased as a colleague with whom he worked for so long.
He and the deceased met in 1973 at the Law Development Centre.
He said Karokora has left a legacy of serving for over four decades in the judiciary.
“I have served judiciary for only 37 years. He did 43 so he has a record and I don’t have that record. The only thing that he didn’t do is becoming Chief Justice but he was a very senior judge and sometimes we had to seek advice from him,” said Odoki.
Principal Judge, Yorokamu Bamwine asked the junior and senior present judges to live a satisfying life as was the case with Karokora.
“Feel satisfied whether what you are getting is enough or not. The children we have today want to drive a Benz when they have not even started working. How I wish they could emulate his example,” said Bamwine.
At the burial, the chief justice Bart Katureebe was represented by Bamwine. The Chief Justice said that late Karokora’s judgments will always be treasured in the history of the judiciary.
“The judiciary shall always remember the part that justice Karokora played in developing legal jurisprudence in Uganda and East Africa at large,” he said
The Chief Justice described Karokora as a good role model for all judicial officers, one who exhibited commitment, diligence, integrity and transparency.
“His judgments were clear, well researched, balanced and have always been pleasured as impeccable precedents” read Katureebe’s speech
The burial was attended by Archbishop Paul K Bakyenga, Minister Elioda Tumwesigye, Ephraim Kamuntu, and Kahinda Otafiire, Anglican bishops, priests, friends and relatives.