In 2005, a 16-year-old student of Nyakasura School in Kabarole district made headlines when she recited a prayer at a Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) rally addressed by Dr Kizza Besigye.
Besigye, who had just returned from exile in South Africa and was campaigning ahead of the 2006 presidential elections.
Today, Charlotte Katuutu who is now 28 made headlines again, this time emerging the best lawyer at the 44th graduation ceremony at the Law Development Centre (LDC).
Katuutu scored an overall average of 70.95 percent after her one year at LDC doing the Bar Course. Katuutu did her law degree from Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) before enrolling for the mandatory diploma.
A total of 754 candidates have successfully graduated with Diplomas in Law with 222 students getting Diplomas in Legal Practice (Bar Course), 441 Diploma in Law while 37 graduated with Diplomas in Human Rights Law.
Out of the top ten students, five came from Makerere University, two from Nkumba University, and one each from Kampala International University (KIU), Uganda Christian University (UCU) and IUIU.
At least 179 lawyers failed the Bar Course and are due to sit special and supplementary examinations next academic year according to Everest Turyahikayo, the Centre’s Academic Registrar.
Hailing from Kitumba in Fort Portal, Katuutu is a daughter of Nyakato Rusoke, the Kabarole district FDC Chairperson. She went to Buhinga Primary school and Toro boarding Primary School for her Primary education, Nyakasura School for her Ordinary Level and Kitante Hill School for Advanced Level which she completed in 2007.
During her senior six vacation, Katuutu says she joined LDC to do a Diploma in Law and finished in 2009. In 2011 she enrolled for a Bachelor of Laws at IUIU, Kibuli Campus. Because of her Diploma in law, Katuutu says she was already working to support her life at school. Katuutu was the best law student at IUIU and says she was excited that she has again emerged the best even at LDC.
Katuutu, now a mother of a two-year old boy, says it requires a lot of commitment to pass the bar course. She says that when she joined LDC for the course, she immediately stopped working so as to concentrate.
After her degree course in September last year, Katuutu got an offer to start working with Kibedi and Company Advocates, one of the leading Commercial Law firms in Kampala.
When asked about students who run to do bar courses from outside Uganda especially after failing the pre-entry exams, Katuutu tells them to persist arguing that the fact that there are other people passing the course, it means it is possible at LDC.
On the question of higher failure rates by IUIU law students in the LDC pre-entry exams, Katuutu rubbished it saying that was a myth.