Local gospel singer and songwriter, Sylver Kyagulanyi was among the over 700 lawyers who graduated on Friday with a Post Graduate Diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre (LDC), making him eligible to representing a client in court.
Singer Kyagulanyi shocked many people as it was not in the public domain that he was pursuing a law course as it is with celebrities.
Explaining why he chose to do the law course instead of concentrating on his gospel music that has made him famous, Kyagulanyi said law had been his passion since childhood.
He said if he had not done music, probably, he would have become an advocate long time ago.
“Everyone has their approach of doing things and my approach was the concentration approach of keeping a low profile while I studied law and that is why you didn’t hear it anywhere that I was pursuing a law course,” an excited singer Kyagulanyi told this reporter shortly after the graduation ceremony on Friday.
“Even in my music career, I have always had a low profile approach to it but for the last five or six years, I was at the law school and after becoming a lawyer, that didn’t give me locus to represent clients in court and because I wanted to practice law, that is why I had to come to LDC and do a Bar course. It’s a good feeling, it’s a good day,” he added.
As a way forward, Mr Kyagulanyi said he is going to give more time to practicing law but he was quick to say that he will not abandon his music career as it comes first in his life.
At the same ceremony, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who was the chief guest, urged the law graduates to work hard as they join the employment world.
“Prepare hard when you are going to court, put in some time for research, if possible rehearse so that you don’t embarrass your client before the judge,” DPP Chibita urged the fresh advocates.
The chief government prosecutor also urged the lawyers to keep up with the ever changing world of the law saying there is need to learn the law trends like cyber crime, cross-broader crime, terrorism that were never there in the past.
The president of the Uganda Law Society (ULS), Mr Simon Peter Kinobe reminded the fresh lawyers that they have joined a noble profession and that they should embrace it with integrity.
Mr Kinobe went on to warn the new lawyers to avoid stealing clients’ money and that they would not make it in the legal fraternity by engaging in fraudulent schemes.
“So, guard yourselves, say no to illegality, say no to unethical conduct, say no to abuse of court processes. Let’s provide justice with passion,” said Kinobe.
Supreme Court judge Stella Arach, who is the chairperson of the LDC management committee, in her remarks said government has approved the move by LDC to open up several centres upcountry and that they expect the same to be opened in the academic year of 2018/19 in Mbale being the pioneer upcountry center to be opened.
Justice Arach explained that the decentralisation of LDC is intended to reduce on the congestion at the main campus in Kampala since they receive so many students and also to bring services nearer to the people.
LDC is currently the only institution in the country that provides a post graduate diploma in legal practice without which a lawyer can’t represent a litigant in court.
Mr Derrick Bazekuketta emerged the overall best graduate to win the Chief Justice award. The second overall graduate was Ms Linda Leila Najjemba who won the Attorney General prize, Ms Christine Mutesi Rebecca was the third overall graduate who earned herself the Principal Judge award and the fourth overall graduate was Ms Eunice Kalungi who won the Uganda Law Society award.
The run up of this 45th LDC graduation was overshadowed by the legal move by Lwemiyga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo to block the graduation until his alleged discrimination case was heard and determined by the High Court in Kampala.
MP Ssekikubo who had failed two supplementary papers, felt discriminated when some other students who had failed more papers were cleared to graduate and yet he was left out despite having fewer papers.
But the court on the eve of the graduation, declined to block the same graduation reasoning that a lot was at stake since the preparations were done for the students to graduate.