CJ Katureebe sets up task force to investigate corruption in judiciary

By Sania Babirye

The Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe, has set up a six-member Task force, headed by the Inspector of Courts, Ms. Immaculate Busingye, to investigate allegations of corruption in the Judiciary.

According to an Office Instruction dated 30th of July 2019, the Task force has been tasked to commence business with immediate effect and report back to the Chief Justice within 60 days.

The newly set up task force is in response to investigative reports by media houses that exposes tendencies of corruption by judicial officers and a promise by the chief justice to investigate the alleged tendencies .

The Corruption Task force will then receive the media recordings with a view of identifying the implicated Judiciary staff, who would then be invited to have an interface with the Team.

Then force will then make a report to the Chief Justice with recommendations on the way forward by the 30th of September 2019.

The other Taskforce members are Mr. Vincent Emmy Mugabo (Registrar/Public Relations Officer), Ms. Susan Abinyo (Registrar Magistrates Affairs and Data Management), Mr. Godfrey Kawesa (President UJOA), Mr. Ayebare Tumwebaze (Assistant Registrar in the Office of the Chief Registrar/Projects), and Mr. Solomon Muyita (Senior Communications Officer).

The Instrument further states that the Chief Justice may extend the tenure of the Task force if need arises.

On July 9, the Chief Justice welcomed efforts by Vision Group to expose acts of bribery and corruption tendencies in the courts.

Justice Katureebe subsequently had an interface with the media organizations top editors, partly to commend them for the efforts, but also caution them against sensationalizing the issue of corruption in the courts.

The Chief Justice said his administration will ensure that any court staff captured receiving a bribe will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

“What has been happening is people say they have paid money for court services, but they are usually not willing to bring the evidence to us.

“We encourage such audits in all courts, and we are willing to do it as a partnership. Our aim should be to take action on the culprits by the Judicial Service Commission.”

He said the Judiciary shall continue to encourage court users and the public to use the available fora to come out and give evidence for firm action to be taken against the errant court staff.

Bart Katureebe says he cannot interdict his deputy Kavuma

The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has downplayed calls to interdict his deputy Stephen Kavuma, who is accused of gross incompetence and misuse of judicial powers.

This’ after a whistle-blower from the Court of Appeal circuit, petitioned the Chief Justice to interdict Justice Kavuma in order to save the image of the court which he has allegedly tainted through radical decisions and superfluous injunctions he has issued over the years.

The petitioners assured the Chief Justice that they are willing to testify against Justice Kavuma, if called upon to show cause for his immediate interdiction.

However, in an interview with URN, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe says does not have authority over his deputy. He explains the petitioners are demanding for too much from him adding that interdicting his deputy does not fall within his jurisdiction.

He explains that the constitution rests the powers to suspend or interdict any judge over any mischief to the President upon advice by the Judicial Service Commission and Cabinet. The organs can only base the decision on findings by a commission of inquiry which has never been instituted in justice Kavuma’s case.

Ever since he came into the limelight the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma has not personally come out to respond to his critics and our latest attempts to reach him has yielded no results.