Chief Justice speaks tough on corruption at UJOA AGM

KAMPALA– The Chief Justice, Hon Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny – Dollo Chigamoy, has said he is ready to forgive any judicial officer for anything but not one who engages him/herself in what he described as the cancerous vice of corruption.

Chief Justice Aliphonse Owiny Dollo addressing Judicial officers at Hotel Africana (Photo by Judiciary)

The Chief Justice said this on Saturday evening while officiating at the Annual General Meeting and election of new leaders for the Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA) where High Court Judge Olive Kazaarwe was elected as the President replacing Justice Tadeo Asiimwe.

The Chief Justice who Is the patron of UJOA said corruption is very painful on justice seekers and that he will not get tired of condemning it. Accordingly, he asked Judicial Officers to imagine themselves as justice seekers and see how painful it is when they don’t get the service they deserve.

The Hon Chief Justice used an analogy of a person who has a sick child and goes to hospital and fails to get treatment and asked them to imagine how painful it is, saying it’s the same being corrupt when you are a Judicial Officer.

“…you may fail on anything else but maintain the intergrity. I will forgive you for everything else but corruption, No! It goes against the very cracks of your purpose of being a judicial Officer,” the Chief Justice said.

According to the Chief Justice, he has received many complaints in his office about some Judicial Officers’ conduct adding that he has called some of them to his chambers and cautioned them sternly.

“You can either be a Judicial Officer or purport to be one”, he said.

According to the Chief Justice, the Judiciary will also open up new regional Inspectorate Offices and everyone will feel the pressure as they do their work especially if they are the ones dragging the Judiciary back in terms of development.

“We need to see integrity among the staff of the Judiciary. We need to rid the Judiciary of corrupt officers. We have to fight incompetence and laziness. This is the only way we can account for the public funds we receive, redeem our name and offer impactful services. We will all be each other’s keeper so as to have the Judiciary we are all proud of”, said CJ.

He emphasized that Judicial Officers shouldn’t fear being accused by the public if they know they are doing the right thing. He equally wants the Judiciary Disciplinary Committee to be strengthened so as to deal with indiscipline of errant officers before they are sent to Judicial Service Commission.

The Chief Justice further revealed that they are also in the process of amending the relevant laws to enhance the civil and criminal jurisdiction of Magistrates Courts so that they are empowered to handle more cases, consequently reduce case backlog at the High Court level, where it is highest.

On her part, the Chief Registrar HW Sarah Langa Siu encouraged the UJOA members to always thank the Chief Justice in everything they achieve because many people don’t know the journey of how it started especially for enhancing the Judiciary budget.

She said the Chief Justice put up a spirited fight to make sure that members of the lower bench have their salaries enhanced and therefore, members should learn to give credit where it’s due. She said they should be thankful for the increase of numbers of Judicial officers which has also increased membership of UJOA.

HW Langa also highlighted some challenges that were on WhatsApp key of them being lack of a deployment policy. She said there is going to be a hybrid meeting at the end of the month to discuss the draft policy and its implementation.

She further talked about grievance handling mechanisms and transportation issues. She noted that at least 20 pick ups are set to be given to members of the lower bench.

While alluding to biblical teachings, HW Langa asked the new UJOA president to promote unity in the Association.

Source: Judiciary
















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