By Alice Lubwama
The Attorney general William Byaruhanga has blamed the piling up of court awards against government on inadequate staffing of the justice ministry.
While appearing before the legal and parliamentary affairs committee chaired by Oboth Oboth, Byaruhanga revealed that the ministry is only 60% staffed leading to state attorneys miss court dates or have to constantly ask for adjournments.
He said this eventually leads to a judge ruling against government in cases where it has been sued.
He stressed that the ministry is the legal adviser and advocate to government, noting that unlike other ministries limited funding to staffing has a direct bearing on the state coffers pointing out that outstanding court awards now stands at 545bn shillings..
A member of this committee also Gomba west MP Robina Rwakojo castigated the ministry for what she called miserable pay for government lawyers and yet they are some of the best legal minds in the country.
She observed that she had been able to experience the situation first hand having worked as a state attorney in her early career.
The chairperson of the committee Jacob Oboth oboth asked the Attorney general to cost the staff required so that MPs can be able to lobby for the funding.