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MPs query Otafiire’s judicial background

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th August 2011 03:00 AM

MPs on the legal and parliamentary affairs committee have questioned the judicial background of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire.

MPs on the legal and parliamentary affairs committee have questioned the judicial background of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire.

By Mary Karugaba

MPs on the legal and parliamentary affairs committee have questioned the judicial background of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire.

The committee chaired by Stephen Tashobya yesterday tasked the ministry officials to explain whether they had opportunities to train people in the ministry, including Otafiire on legal matters.

The ministry officials were led by the Attorney General, Peter Nyombi.

“I wish I could be given an opportunity to sit in that ministry and see how a military general is handling legal matters,” said Odonga Otto.

“All Government political heads in the constitutional affairs ministry are experts in legal matters. I wonder what the General is doing there,” Otto added.

The MPs also asked Nyombi to explain whether he was confortable having Otafiire as head of a ministry that deals with legal matters in the country given his military background.

Nyombi said there was nothing wrong with having a military man heading a ministry that deals with legal matters.

He defended Otafiire, saying it was not a unique case given that the ministers of justice in Tanzania and UK are not lawyers.

“We have not found any discomfort to sit with a General. He does not necessarily have to be a lawyer to head the ministry because there are many technical staff,” he said.

The committee also heard that the ministry was seeking sh196b to settle court awards and compensations.

Nyombi told MPs that the arrears have accumulated over the years due to lack of resources to settle them.

MPs query Otafiire’s judicial background

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