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Speech by the Minister of Justice at the Requiem Service for the Late Joan Kagezi

Hon. Maj. Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Maj. Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs


It was with great sadness that I learnt of the tragic death of Ms. Joan Kagezi on the evening of March 30th, 2015. Just like the rest of us here, it was absolutely shocking but also very painful news to receive - for me personally, but also for the entire Justice, Law and Order Sector family and the country.

In difficult times like these, words and speeches are often not enough to express our deepest and innermost feelings.
The immense grief that Joan’s untimely death has brought upon us is indescribable. May the good Lord give us strength and courage and may he grant Joan’s family, especially her beloved children here with us, perfect peace in the face of this tragedy.

Joan was a very smart lady, articulate and purpose-driven. She had the exceptional ability to analyze and understand the bigger picture. Perhaps, that explains her numerous court case engagements and successes, spanning various criminal cases, many of them rated high profile.

I should also add that Joan had a meek but strong personality, with a high level of self-determination to deliver results. Her achievements and milestones in her short time here on earth are testament to this.

I have followed this tragic event closely and you can all bear witness that the public outpouring of grief over the last three days is phenomenal and rather unprecedented in recent times. The Justice, Law and Order Sector has lost a dedicated and gifted civil servant. Uganda has lost a patriot, who sacrificed alot to serve this nation faithfully and diligently.

But most importantly, her family has lost a committed mother. To many of us, Joan was the uncompromising and no-nonsense prosecutor but to her family, she was a dedicated parent who upheld family above everything else. Her four beautiful children meant everything to her, but sadly they now have to live with the dark memory of their mother shot dead before their very own eyes.

The Justice, Law and Order Sector upholds the values of the rule of law, with justice for all as our cornerstone. I would therefore, like to assure Ugandans and the family of the deceased, that the Sector, through the Police, the Judiciary and other state institutions and structures, shall bring to justice the perpetrators of this criminal act, no matter where they are or how long it takes.

Philip, Carol, Pearl and Harvey, our hearts go out you. No amount of words in this trying moment can comfort you for sure, but we pledge to pray for you. We pray that God’s peace that transcends all human understanding will be with you. May the Lord hold your hand and safely lead you through this valley of the shadow of death. May he calm the storms and the raging seas of pain and grief that you feel entangled in. We pledge to support you in any way we possibly can – materially, spiritually and emotionally. Be rest assured, that in the Justice, Law and Order Sector, you will always find a place to call home and a shoulder to lean on.

Joan, today we celebrate your amazing legacy of a life well lived and a fight well fought. May the Lord grant you everlasting peace.

Thank you and God bless you.


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