By Pascal Kwesiga
Fraudsters have been “hearing” cases from unsuspecting members of the public after “convincing” them they are magistrates at Makindye Chief Magistrates Court.
A grade one magistrate at the court, George Watyekere said, there are fraudsters who have been impersonating him and “handling” cases from the public.
“I would like to inform you that I am the only male grade one magistrate here. I am doing this because some of you come to me saying that your cases have been heard by another male magistrate,” Watyekere said during the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) open day at the court on Friday.
The open day is part of the public relations campaign during which JLOS institutions interact with the public and showcase their services.
Watyekere made the comments after the Makindye Court Chief Magistrate, Esther Nambayo, asked the four grade one magistrates of the court to identify themselves to the public so that they (people) do not fall prey to the fraudsters again.
Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire of the appeal and constitutional courts, who presided over the function, said fraudsters extort many from the public even at High Court.
“It is very interesting that someone can put on his court early in the morning and go to court to steal from people coming to court. And these people tell their families they have been working hard when they return home,” he added.
Kiryabwire advised the public to always insist on paying money demanded by people they suspected to be fraudsters to court cashiers, adding “If someone asks for money, tell them no problem, let us go to the court cashier and you give me a receipt,”
He asked the public to bring “undisciplined” judicial officers to the attention of the relevant institutions such as the judicial service commission, judicial integrity committee and judiciary disciplinary committee so that disciplinary action can be taken against them.
“Corruption in the judiciary is real and we are investigating some cases. But do not complain because you have lost a case,”