Both his profession and his religious convictions were very important to Anthony Yeboah Wameli.
He represented clients who were frequently attempting to escape from custody with a zeal that could only be compared to that of a street preacher.
Wameli, who is the head of the legal division for the National Unity Platform (NUP), was a member of the legal team that submitted Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu’s lawsuit contesting President Museveni’s election victory in 2021.
But a few years ago, it was his free legal representation of the oppressed that brought him to public attention.
The State reacted by rounding up a number of suspects, the majority of whom claimed to be Muslims, after former police spokesperson Andrew Kaweesi was brutally murdered on March 17, 2017, after a group of assassins shot up his car, killing him along with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Wambewa.
Most of the suspects had apparent recent torture wounds when they first showed up at Nakawa Chief Magistrate Court, and many of them had trouble walking.
Wameli acted swiftly and took the reins of the procedure to release some of the suspects on bail as the nation struggled to comprehend Kaweesi’s horrible murder.
At least seven of the accused were granted bail by Noah Sajjabbi, the chief magistrate of the Nakawa Court, in November 2017 after Wameli was successful in getting the DPP to agree to send the suspects to the High Court for trial.
Umaru Maganda, Ahmed Ssenfuka, and Ibrahim Kisa, however, were forcibly re-arrested by agents outside Spear Motors crossroads in Nakawa, a Kampala suburb, in the events that shocked the nation.
Police and the army clashed following the arrests because each security organization had a different version of what had transpired.
Although the army said the drill was a collaborative effort, the police claimed they were unaware of it.
Despite this, Wameli continued to hunt for his clients by submitting numerous applications in court, and he eventually succeeded in regaining their freedom.
Everyone could see Wameli’s boldness, so it wasn’t surprising when Gen. Henry Tumukunde, who had previously stated his interest in running for president, sought him out after being accused of treason.
Wameli decided to try his hand at politics in 2020, though, and ran for the Namisindwa County seat on the NUP ticket.
The major Opposition political party appointed the 45-year-old as the head of their legal department due to his combination of legal and political interests.
But by the time the campaigns reached their peak, he had already begun to feel unwell and had been identified as having colon cancer. Mr. Apollo Masika won the election, which he lost.
Wameli, who is not one to back down easy, disputed Masika’s election, alleging voter fraud and bribery, but the High Court in Mbale City upheld the result.
Wameli’s career has nonetheless zigzagged between public and private practice. He entered private practice in the early 2000s and worked with numerous companies.
He did, however, decide to give public service a try in 2009 when he was appointed as a Grade One Magistrate.
He has had enough of serving the public by 2011. He left and started Wameli & Co. Advocates, a law practice that propelled him to success. He had had aspirations of leading the Uganda Law Society, but along the line, he decided to withdraw from the efforts that saw Pheona Nabasa Wall triumph in that competitive election.