President Yoweri Museveni has said that the number of teachers in the country has doubled, increasing from 80,000 to 160,000.
Museveni, who was hosting over 80 judges at State House Entebbe, said that with increased taxation that currently stands at 12 trillion, government has invested in infrastructure development in the education, health, roads and electricity sectors.
“Public service increased teachers from 80,000 to 160,000 with increased classrooms. There was load shedding which has stopped. We were spending very little of our money on infrastructure and depended on donors,” the president said and assured the Judges of improved conditions including security and retiring with full benefits. “This is a cost effective way of addressing the welfare of the judicial officers,” he said and urged them to improvise in line with housing for the courts and proposed institutional housing for judicial service officers.
The president however noted that there is lack of serious dialogue between the three arms of government; the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, to talk about strategy and ideology of the country.
“We only talk about sharing resources which is not enough. We must understand, what does the State want to do? There is a weakness of harmony and orientation of strategy,” he said. President Museveni said that the NRM Government was fully committed to providing vehicles for all judges and magistrates in the country and proposed that they establish a SACCO that government can facilitate. He also said that the government would soon fund medical check-up for them in health facilities of their choice within the country and also support the Shs 36bn five year ICT strategic plan to roll out a robust case management system providing for E-filing to reduce timelines and loss of files.
Responding to a presentation by the Chief Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe, on the transformation of the Judiciary for National Development, President Museveni cited UPE and USE that were initiated by government following a steady tax collection regime.
“We thought having these children in school was unavoidable. When the tax collection improved from 2.8billion in 1986 to 728billion in 1997, we started UPE. The number of children in school jumped from the initial 2.5million to 8.8million. The problem is that with policies and prioritization, the judiciary is not involved that is why they don’t get the logic and factors taken into account,” he said.
The President said government now spends Shs 3000bn on roads, 1700bn on electricity and quite a bit on the army.
“We spend quite a bit on the army to be able to build a strong army although soldiers get low wages. Amin soldiers were well paid but had no weapons. But we said weapons first. We brought peace cheaply with most of our soldiers sleeping in Maama ingia pole. If we did not do this, we would have our country run by the United Nations,” he said, adding that peace is enabling Uganda to get more money.
In his presentation Justice Katureebe commended President Museveni for eliminating extra judicial killings in the country. He however, pointed out that the judiciary has rental arrears of 3bn and that the Supreme Court may be up for eviction if nothing is done.
Katureebe said with a 46% growth in the budget from Shs63bn in 2012/13 toShs92bn in 2014/15, performance also increased by 49% from 102,000 cases in 2010/11 to 152,000 cases disposed of in 2014/15.