and Mary Karugaba
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has appointed 10 new judges to the High Court and promoted Justice Mary Arach Amoko to the Court of Appeal.
The judges are Dr. Andrew Bashaija, Mike Chibita, Christopher Madrama, Catherine Bamugemereire, Billy Kainamura, Wilson Musene, Yasin Nyanzi, Percy Night Tuhaise, Hellen Abulu Obura and Monica Mugenyi.
Bashaija, a former court registrar, has been a lecturer at Kampala International University and also sits on the board of examiners of the Law Development Centre.
Mike Chibita has been the executive assistant to the head of the Uganda Revenue Authority. Christopher Madrama, on the other hand, has been a private practitioner, while Monica Mugenyi was the manager of corporate services at the Uganda Road Fund. Mugenyi also worked at the Attorney Generalâ€™s Chambers, and at the Privatisation Unit.
Nine appointees yesterday appeared before the appointments committee of Parliament chaired by Speaker Edward Ssekandi for vetting.
Court of Appeal bound Arach-Amoko and Bamugemereire, who has been appointed to the High Court, did not appear.
Arach who has been the head of the Commercial Court replaces Justice Christine Kitumba, who moved to the Supreme Court last year. In the same year, the President also appointed Jotham Tumwesigye and Dr. Esther Mayambala Kisakye to the Supreme Court.
Also vetted yesterday were Kainamura, who has been the acting Solicitor General, Wilson Musene, the former Inspector of Courts, Yasin Nyanzi, Percy Night Tuhaise and Abulu Obura, who has been the secretary of the Law Council.
The MPs who vetted the nominees were upbeat. â€œAll of them performed very well. We were impressed, they seem to know what they are doing,â€ an MP said.
Mugenyi and Bashaija yesterday said the interaction with the committee was cordial and they did not expect any hurdles to their appointments.
Asked what he would do about the case backlog if approved as a judge, Bashaija said: â€œI donâ€™t believe in individualism, but teamwork.â€
He however, said performance management systems, which track and assess individual performance, should be activated.
The Judiciary recently announced that 20 judges and 100 magistrates would soon be deployed to clear the case backlog that has been there for years.
The backlog, from the magistratesâ€™ court to the High Court, stands at over 40,000 cases. About 24,000 of these are civil cases, while the rest are criminal.
Most of the civil cases are in Kampala, while most of the criminal cases are upcountry. It is expected that 15,000 cases would be cleared between April and September 2010.
PROFILES OF THE NEW JUDGES
By Milton Olupot
Andrew K. Bashaija, 47
Holds a PhD in business administration from Washington International University (USA). He also has a masters in development studies and a Bachelor of Laws among other qualifications. He has over 18 years experience in legal, judicial and training fields. He had been a senior lecturer at Kampala International University, external examiner at the Law Development Centre. He joined the Judiciary as a Grade One magistrate in 1992 and rose to the level of registrar in 2000. He is a senior partner with Pearl Advocates & Solicitors.
Hellen Abulu Obura, 46
Has a masters degree in business administration and a Bachelor of Laws from Dar-es-Saalam University and a diploma in legal practice. She enrolled as an advocate in 1995. She worked at the Ministry of Justice as a state attorney and rose to the rank of senior state attorney where she served till 2002. She has been acting secretary of the Law Council department in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Mike J. Chibita, 47
Has a masters degree in international and company law from the University of IOWA, USA. He also has a law degree from Makerere University and a diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre, Kampala. He has worked in both the Attorney Generalâ€™s Chambers and in State House. He has been the executive assistant of the commissioner generalâ€™s office of the Uganda Revenue Authority.
Christopher Madrama, 48
He holds a masters degree in womenâ€™s law from the University of Zimbabwe and a Bachelor of Laws of Makerere University.
He enrolled as an advocate in 1991. He is currently a principal legal associate with Katende, Ssempebwa & Company Advocates. He worked in the justice ministry for about 10 years, rising to the level of principal state attorney in 1999.
Monica Mugenyi, 41
Has a masters degree in international trade law from the University of Essex. He also has a law degree from Makerere University. She has been in private practice as legal consultant with Mugenyi and Company Advocates. Mugenyi is also the manager of corporate services at the Uganda Road Fund. She has worked in the Attorney Generalâ€™s Chambers, and in the Privatisation Unit.
Percy Night Tuhaise, 50
Holds a masters law degree and a law degree from Makerere University. She is the deputy director of the Law Development Centre, Kampala. She also serves as vice-chairperson of the electricity disputes tribunal. Tuhaise served as commissioner, Uganda Law Reform Commission.
Wilson Masalu Musene, 53
Has a Makerere law degree and enrolled as an advocate in 1983. He joined the bench as a magistrate Grade One in 1983 and rose to the level of chief magistrate. He took leave and joined politics where he represented Manjiya County in the Constituent Assembly. He returned to the bench in 1995 as chief magistrate and later elevated to registrar of the Court of Judicature.
Yasin Nyanzi, 48
Is a practicing advocate with Nyanzi, Kiboneka and Mbabazi Advocates. He holds a Makerere law degree and diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre. He enrolled as an advocate in 1991 and served under Public Service as a lands officer from 1989-1993.
Billy Kainamura, 57
Has worked as state attorney and rose through the ranks to become acting Solicitor General to date. He obtained a Makerere law degree in 1976 and a diploma from the Law Development Centre in 1977. He was enrolled as advocate in 1978.
She is an associate lecturer at the University of Surrey at Guildford UK, where she is pursuing a doctorate in law. She has a masters in law from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA. She also has a law degree from Makerere and a post-graduate diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre, Kampala. She worked as a state attorney before joining the bench as a magistrate Grade One. She was promoted to a chief magistrate.
Museveni appoints ten new judges