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Parliament explains complaints against approval of judges

By John Odyek

Added 16th February 2018 05:51 PM

Upon receipt of the complaints, the office of the speaker set out to investigate the matter

Parliament explains complaints against approval of judges

Upon receipt of the complaints, the office of the speaker set out to investigate the matter

PIC: Justice Stephen Musota

PARLIAMENT

KAMPALA - Early this month, President Yoweri  Museveni nominated 14 people to be appointed to the positions of Justices of Appeal and Judges of the High Court.

Of the 14 people nominated, four justices were for the Court of Appeal and 10 for the High Court.

As required by the Constitution, the list of the nominees was forwarded to the Speaker of the Parliament for approval.

The appointments committee, chaired by Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, sat recently to consider the nominees.

Parliament, however, received complaints against five nominees; Justice Stephen Musota and Justice Christopher Madrama, nominated for appointment as Justices of Appeal. The others were Paul Gadenya, Alex Ajiji and Asiimwe Tadeo, nominated for appointment as judges of the High Court.

According to a statement from Parliament, upon receipt of the complaints, the office of the speaker set out to investigate the matter. The complainants stated that they had filed their grievances with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and, therefore, the appointments committee consulted the commission on their handling of the various matters complained of.

The complainants against the judicial officers included Kercan Prosper, a Grade II Magistrate, who complained about his administrative transfer from Nabweru Court to Kiboga. He said his transfer was malicious and intended to frustrate his pursuit of a master's degree.

The JSC noted that the magistrate had not formally informed his employer that he was pursuing studies. The complainant was transferred due to the many complaints against him at the court that included land disputes.

A one Male Mabirizi complained of being prevented from sitting at the bar while defending himself in the matter. JSC said the complainant is not an advocate of the High Court and, therefore, has no right to sit at the Bar. It was also noted that Mabirizi appears to be a serial complainant against the Judiciary and other organs whenever decisions do not go his way.

The statement said other complaints forwarded to the JSC did not have substance to be formally entertained. The appointments committee established that all the complaints filed with the JSC had no merit and proceeded to vet them.

The statement said the report on the committee's interaction with the nominees will be sent to the President as required by the rules of procedure of Parliament.

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