Kampala: The chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Justice Benjamin Kabiito, has implored government to release resources for recruitment of 30 judges of the High Court.
Justice Kabiito said that since Parliament approved the High Court structure of judges to 82 from 50, the same approval will not be meaningful if it’s not implemented.
He remarked during the Second Stakeholders Forum in Kampala where the first JSC Strategic Plan was unveiled as well as the Annual Report for the Commission.
“We have 30 vacancies in the High Court following the Parliament approval of the structure of 82 judges and also the recent passing of Justice Jessica Naiga Ayebazibwe,” said Justice Kabiito.
“We have suitable candidates to fill up these 30 vacancies in our data bank. If government says they can fund their operation, even tomorrow we can give them new judges of High integrity,” he said
Justice Kabiito a revealed that the Commission is currently recruiting a substantive Chief Registrar of the Judiciary following the elevation of Justice Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa as High Court judge recently. He also said JSC is concluding the recruitment of six Magistrates Grade One.
At the same stakeholders meeting, the Luwero Chief Magistrate, Samuel Munobe, warned lower judicial officers are soon laying down their tools for being discriminated against by government that is planning to give each MP an armored car and UPDF sharp shooters to guard them and yet for them they have none.
“If you enhance security and terms of service for the other known arm of government (Parliament) because one incident happened and you come out very fast and address it urgently, this shows there an obvious vote of no confidence in our arm (Judiciary).” Magistrate Munobe lamented.
Similarly, Justice Flavia Senoga Anglin, who was representing the Principal Judge, shared an experience of how some unknown people parked at her gate in Jinja and said: “she stays here”, something that made her feel insecure
“We now fear to even take evening walks because some people who will point at us so we need to be provided with security. How do you expect us to work when we are such fear?” said Justice Senoga.
She further said the Lower Bench judicial officers don’t have body guards and police guards at their respective places of abode yet they handle sensitive cases that sometimes put their lives at risk.