When one meets senior counsel Dr. Alan Christopher Senkatuka Shonubi, a renowned Budonian one can’t imagine or believe that he had a humble beginning in his life time career as he started as a turn-man on a fuso truck and he has never wished to work for government but prefers self employment in rendering his legal services to various agencies nationally and internationally. Dr. Allan Shonubi believes that being hopeful in life can enable one achieve his dream and urges people out there to be optimistic and hardworking to able to achieve their dreams. The Gateway news team had an up-close interview with him at his offices located at the magnificent building of the SM Chambers and below is what transpired during the interview.
Qn: Who Is Dr. Shonubi?
Dr. Shonubi: Am a lawyer by profession and a senior counsel and legal consultant, who majored in corporate Law, property Law, Banking, privatization issues and commercial Litigation among other specialties. Iam a city born, who was born in 1958 at Namirembe zone in Kampala city to Catherine Shonubi and Allade Shonubi. My mother was a teacher by profession and the first woman in Uganda to join Makerere University and a former legislator of the Uganda Legislative Council (LEGCO) during the colonial period. Iam married to Robinah Shonubi and we are blessed with five children including three boys and two girls.
Qn: Who Inspired You To Study Law course?
Dr. Shonubi: I was inspired by self to do Law because of my passion for the legal profession. However, my mother wanted me to offer sciences at “A’ Level so that I became a doctor because I had posted good results in both science and Arts subjects.
Qn: When Did You Begin Your Legal Career?
Dr. Shonubi: I began my legal career way back in 1982 and I was attached to Kabugo & Co. Advocates as a legal assistant. This position involved preparing legal memos, research and providing the partners with opinions and court documentation. In 1988- 1990, I worked with co-operative Bank Limited as senior Legal officer and I was charged with the responsibility of liaising with external Lawyers, preparing debentures and mortgages, organizing insurance and legal opinions and preparing board minutes among other things. In 1990, I quit Co-operative Bank Limited as senior Legal officer; I started my own Law firm with very little capital and named the firm Shonubi, Musoke &; Co. Advocates. It was not easy to start the Law firm and it was my mentor, who offered me some small space at his shop in Kampala. However after three months operating in a small space behind a colleague’s shop in Kampala city, I decided to expand my office and consequently moved to a better place at Boman house along Jinja road in Kampala city.
Qn: How Were You Fairing In Legal Business While At Boman House?
Dr. Shonubi: Since I had shifted to a descent place, I started receiving more clients especially in the Banking sector and co-operatives. At that time, I was attending to three to four banks and up-to-date, I have managed to retain three of these banks.
Qn: When Did You Leave Boman House?
Dr.Shonubi: In 1999, I shifted my Law Firm to Uganda Media center where I rented a spacious office. While renting at the media center premises, I was able to save some money which I used to buy a plot in Kampala City on plot 14 Hannington Road, where I erected SM Chambers building facility.
Qn: When Did You Enter SM Chambers Building & How Big Is It?
Dr.Shonubi: In 2003, I was able to move my Law Firm to my new building SM Chambers, plot 14 Hannington road and this is a big milestone in my life journey. The magnificent building has a Boardroom, Meeting room, bar, cafeteria, gym etcetera.
Qn: How Many Workers Do You Have In Your Law Firm?
Dr. Shonubi: I have got 50 workers on my Law firm including 35 qualified Lawyers and the rest are support staffs. I pay all my workers promptly and in time. I set target for each Lawyer and whoever fails to hit the targets has to justify why he/she should be paid or else leave the job.
Qn: What Have You So Far Achieved In Your Life Career?
Dr. Shonubi: I have cases which have set many precedents for instance between July 2001 to November 2002; I was the lead counsel for Judicial commission of Inquiry into allegations of illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In April 2008, I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Corporate Law from Nkumba University and in November the same year I was elected the president of East Africa Law society, a bar Organization which unites Lawyers in six countries namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Zanzibar. During my tenure as president East Africa Law society, I changed the Law society by introducing corporate sponsorship yet previously it used to depend on subscription from member states. So by securing corporate sponsorship we became a solid Law Society. Currently, am the chairperson/shareholder of Uganda Baati Limited, a public company specializing in roofing solutions.
Qn: How Have You Been Able To Achieve The Above?
Dr. Shonubi: I manage my time and where necessary I delegate some responsibilities.I have no time to waste on cracking jokes instead I utilize my leisure time to mentor people and also engage in live band music concerts.
Qn: Entebbe Municipal Council Intends To Name Road After You, Isn’t It Political?
Dr.Shonubi: its true council has approached me over the above issue and I gave it a green light. I believe the proposal to name a road after me is not political but rather it’s based on merit. In the first place I own a residential house in Entebbe, Hotel Explorer, Explorer courts and a beach in Bwerenga zone, Wakiso district. I donated some mattresses to Entebbe General Referral hospital and renovated the male ward. I have done several business ventures with Entebbe Municipal Council and religiously contribute to revenue of council through my business ventures. Besides this, every year, I donate food items to Entebbe Muslim County especially during the holy month of Ramadan in addition to sponsoring Entebbe mothers Union.
Qn: Finally, Tell Us Your Education Background?
Dr. Shonubi: In 1964-1969, I attended Nakasero primary school from P.1-P.6. In 1970-1971, I attended Old Kampala primary school where I completed my primary Education. In 1972- 1977, I attended King’s College Budo for both ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level. In 1978-1981, I did a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University. In 1982-1983, I did a post graduate Diploma in Legal practice from the Law Development Center Kampala.
(By Sadique Bamwita)