Association members said the policy needs to reviewed to accommodate fairness and staff motivation so as to achieve good service delivery
PIC: Outgoing chief registrar Paul Gadenya chats with the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo during the UJOA annual general meeting at the High Court grounds in Kampala. (Credit: Maria Wamala)
TRANSFER | POLICY
KAMPALA - Judicial officers, through their umbrella body Uganda Judicial Officers' Association (UJOA), have asked the Government to review the transfer policy.
Godfrey Kaweesa, the association chairperson, said the policy needs to reviewed to accommodate fairness, balance and staff motivation to achieve good service delivery.
“I joined the Judiciary in 2003. I have been out in the field serving the people of Uganda for 16 years yet my family is in Kampala. I have got a wife. I have young children who do not know me very well,” Kaweesi said.
He added: “If you transfer me to a place against my will, I will go, but I may not perform my duties as expected and this will affect service delivery.”
Kaweesi said there is need for a clear transfer policy in the judiciary in order to motivate staff. “The transfer policy should be backed up with an ICT system that should automatically show the stations where a certain officer has served. It is unfair for someone to just sit in his chair and determine where everyone goes,” he said.
Kaweesi added that the policy should take into consideration issues of natural justice such as consulting and counselling officers before the transfer.
He said the policy also allows officers to swap stations. “If I stay in Kampala and I am willing to swap with someone stationed in Kampala, but commutes from Masaka to come and work in Kampala, what is evil in that?” Kaweesi said.
He said some officers have served for over 15 years and have never worked in Kampala where their families are and yet there are officers who have never worked upcountry. Kaweesi called for balance in transfers.
In their annual general meeting where they voted in new leadership, the members resolved to indefinitely halt their industrial action to give the Government more time to implement its promises.
The outgoing chief registrar, Paul Gadenya, said the association has been able to concretise on a number of things. These include the administration of the judiciary Bill, which is almost getting to Parliament. There is also the continuous struggle of better terms and conditions of service. “We are not yet there, but some of us we have already seen the promised land,” Gadenya said.