In a bid to end judicial officers’ strike last year, the Government promised to provide judicial officers with security, vehicles, housing allowances and office equipment.
By Farooq Kasule and Micheal Odeng
Judicial officers under their umbrella body, the Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA) have demanded the Government to give them vehicles and security as promised.
In a bid to end judicial officers’ strike last year, the Government through the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire, promised to provide judicial officers with security, vehicles, housing allowances and office equipment.
However, during the UJOA handover ceremony held at the Supreme Court in the city suburbs of Kampala on Friday, UJOA President Godfrey Kaweesa revealed that the Government has never fulfilled its promise. Kaweesa also said they are not in agreement with the salary increment proposed by the Government.
“UJOA salutes the Government for realising the need to effect an enhanced salary structure for judicial officers. However, UJOA is not in agreement with it and is in the process of petitioning the Cabinet and Parliament, until a meaningful salary structure is made,” Kaweesa said.
During the event, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe launched UJOA’S multi-billion investment plan, which among others include the construction of their headquarters. UJOA house is projected to accommodate a judiciary shop, health club, ICT, mentoring and counselling hubs, judicial officer’s mess and a 1,000 sitter conference hall.
Kaweesa said the project will be funded under the Public Private Partnership arrangements and that he had already contacted the State Minister of water, Ronald Kibuule for assistance.
“We request the Chif Justice to avail us with land particularly at Nakawa Court to realise this goal,” Kaweesa asked.
According to a consultant from Solutions International Emmanuel Mbaine, the construction of the UJOA house is expected to cost over sh15b.
Kaweesa commended Katureebe who is the patron of Association, for standing by the old executive and appealed to him to do the same for the new executive.
Justice of the Supreme Court Stella Arach Amoko tasked UJOA members with pioneering the fight against corruption.
“Let us use UJOA to fight corruption among judicial officers on top of agitating for their welfare,” Amoko said.
Kaweesa appealed to the Chief Justice to ensure that the UJOA executive is appointed on different committees as representatives of the majority.
Katureebe implored UJOA members to make realistic demands basing on what is available.
“As we plan, let us always be mindful of what is achievable and what is available. Your plan is a good, ideal and we shall study it and see what to do,” Katureebe said.