John Chris Bakiza, the former director of Uganda’s Criminal Investigations Directorate, has passed away, according to reports. Bakiza, a constitutional law specialist and former lecturer at the Law Development Centre (LDC), breathed his last at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala on Friday night. The circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear.
Bakiza’s death has left a void in Uganda’s law enforcement and legal community. He was known for his expertise in constitutional law and his role as an external examiner at LDC. His passing marks the end of an era for those who had the privilege of learning from his legal insights and knowledge.
The news of Bakiza’s passing was met with tributes and condolences from individuals who had known and worked with him. Former Assistant Inspector General of Police Asan Kasingye, in a post on social media, expressed his sadness, recalling their shared experiences. He stated, “It’s so sad to hear about your passing on SACP (Rtd) John Bakiza, former Police director Ops & CID. We were together at the launch of my book ‘Chosen’ on July 30, 2022. Amidst troubled times, you remained humble, served as an advocate of the High Court, and taught criminal law at LDC.”
Another social media user replied to Kasingye’s post, reflecting on the impact Bakiza had on his students. The user said, “The knowledge you imparted and the lessons you taught us in professional conduct (LDC) will continue to resonate with us forever. May you be granted the peace you deserve, Mr. Bakiza.”
John Chris Bakiza’s career in law enforcement and legal services was extensive. He joined the Police Force in 1980 and was one of the first 26 graduate cadet officers. His journey within the police led him to serve as the CID officer-in-charge at the Bank of Uganda for three years until 1990. In 1990, he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and took charge of the Directorate of Legal Services at the parliamentary building, the former Police headquarters in Kampala.
From 1992 to 1996, Bakiza assumed various leadership roles, including director of administration and finance, and director of operations. His career reached its pinnacle when he served as the director of CID headquarters in Kampala from 1997 to 1999. However, he retired in 2000 to establish his private law firm, Bakiza and Company Advocates, where he served as the managing partner.
Bakiza’s tenure as the head of the police’s crime-fighting unit was marked by significant achievements and contributions to law enforcement. Nevertheless, his leadership came to an abrupt end due to a public judicial inquiry led by Justice Julia Sebutinde into corruption within the Police Force.