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Home » Flash Back » FLASHBACK: IS RWANDA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL AN IMPOSTOR IN LEGAL PRACTICE?

FLASHBACK: IS RWANDA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL AN IMPOSTOR IN LEGAL PRACTICE?

By Prof. Charles Kambanda

Rwanda’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice – Johnson Busingye – did not possibly complete his legal education and never practiced law anywhere.

Kagame’s Attorney General studied his first law degree in Uganda. While a student in Makerere, Rwanda’s “Attorney General” was a resident of Livingstone.

A person is said to have completed legal education in Uganda if he/she: ( a) did his law degree from an accredited law school and ( b) successfully completed a legal practice diploma from Law Development Center, ( LDC). People with “C” degree or PASS are considered failures; they do not qualify for the legal practice diploma in LDC.

Although Rwanda’s Attorney General did his law degree from an accredited law school, Makerere University, Johnson Busingye got a “C” /PASS degree. Therefore, he did not qualify for LDC legal practice course. Consequently, he did not complete his legal education. Considerably unfair when there are many newly passed lawyers that actually completed their education and are still struggling to find a position within a law firm or higher, made even harder when they’re not sure of what types of lawyers they’re intending to become.

After the 1994 war in Rwanda, Johnston Busingye crossed over to Rwanda where he presented himself as a legal expert. A combination of nepotism and lack of qualified personnel to work for the government of Rwanda contributed to Johnson Busingye’s “success” as an impostor in Rwanda’s public service.

As an impostor “legal expert”, Johnson Busingye occupied different positions; he even became a “Judge”. He was later promoted to Attorney General and Minister of Justice. A person who got a PASS degree and never completed legal education became the model and/or symbol of legal education and practice in Rwanda.

Upon his appointment as Attorney General, Mr.Johnson Busingye ordered the Bar Association to prepare for his swearing in as an advocate by right; because he had to lead a group of lawyers to argue government cases at the East African Court in Arusha.

When did he practice law in Rwanda?

1. Johnson Busingye was ” sworn” in as an advocate in Rwanda after he was made Attorney General? Yes or no

2. A person who is not an advocate cannot practice law ( have a law firm) in Rwanda? Yes or no

3. How did Johnson Busingye practice law in Rwanda before he was sworn in as advocate, which did not happen until he was made AG?

4. If Johnson was a practicing Attorney in Uganda, why did he need to force the Bar Association to have him sworn in after he became AG so he would be allowed to appear at the EA Court ?

I am not sure things have changed so much at the LDC that a PASS degree can be admitted for the legal practice diploma.

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