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.

Justice Owiny set to replace Justice Steven Kavuma

President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo as the Deputy Chief Justice.

In his August 18 letter to the Speaker of Parliament, the president also appointed Justices Paul Mugamba and Richard Buteera to the Supreme Court bench.

“This is, therefore, to forward to you their names and Curriculum Vitae for parliamentary approval,” the president concludes his letter.

The letter is copied to the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the Chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission.

If approved by Parliament, Justice Owiny-Dollo will replace Justice Steven Kavuma who retired in April having served in the position for two years.

In May last year, Justice Owiny-Dollo convicted seven men behind the July 11, 2010 terror attacks in Kampala that claimed the lives of 74 people.

The double bombing targeted two venues the Ethiopian Restaurant and Kyadondo Rugby Club as revelers watched the World Cup Final match between Spain and the Netherlands.

Five of the convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment while the two received 50 years each. Thirteen others were acquitted.

It was the calm demeanour with which Justice Owiny-Dollo handled the highly sensitive case that endeared him to many. The men could have faced the death penalty, the maximum for terrorism, but Owiny-Dollo said he did not believe it would act as a deterrent.

 

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CHIEF JUSTICE SWEARS IN NEW ELECTORAL COMMISION

By Moses Kidandi

The new Electoral commission has been sworn in at the high court. The commission is composed of Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, Hajat Aisha Lubega, Mrs Justine Mugabi, Hon.Stephene Tashiobya, Mustapha Sebagala Kigozi,Peter Emorut and Nathaline Etomu.

The swearing in ceremony at the high court was conducted by the Chief Justice Bart M. Katureebe in Kampala. The new commission will now move on to conduct electoral activities legally starting with the controversial LC1 Elections expected to take place in March this year.