The Chief Justice of Uganda, Bart Katureebe has set up a six- member taskforce to investigation allegations of corruption in the judiciary, one the institutions complained about by Ugandans due to poor service delivery.
According to Wednesday’ press release, the team is headed by Ms Immaculate Busingye, the Inspector of Courts.
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The other committee members include; Vincent Emma Mugabo (Registrar/Public Relations Officer), Susan Abinyo (Registrar/Magistrates Affairs and Data Management), Godfrey Kawesa (President UJOA), Ayebare Tumwebaze (Assistant Registrar in the Office of the Chief Registrar/Projects) and Solomon Muyita (Senior Communications Officer).
According to the Office No. 4 of 2019, dated July 30, 2019, the team was tasked to commence work with immediate effect and would report within 60 days even though this deadline could be extended by Katureebe.
“Interface with the investigation team of Vision Group to understand the scope and purpose of their on-going project on exposing corruption in the judiciary,” reads one of the terms of reference to the committee.
The team will then receive the media recordings with the view of identifying the corrupt staff who will then be invited to have an interface with the investigating team of the court that will make a report to Katureebe on the way forward by September 30, 2019.
Any court staff captured receiving the bribe will be dealt with in accordance with the law. “What has been happening is people say they have paid money for court services, but they are usually not willing to bring the evidence to us. We encourage such audits in all courts, and we are willing to do it as a partnership,” Katureebe said, adding that culprits will be handled by the Judicial Service Commission.
The Judiciary improved to ninth position in the 2017 Inspector General of Government (IGG) survey with 2.2 percent complaints in corruption complaints received of all sectors considered. This was attributed to the strengthened internal mechanisms of fighting graft in judicial institutions.
According to Mr Paul Gadenya the Chief Registrar of Courts, the decline in corruption complaints against the Judiciary then, was a result of strengthening the judicial inspectorate department that deals with complaints against errant judicial officers as well as the case backlog committee that is following up pending cases in the court system to ensure that cases of litigants are resolved in a short period hence translating into very few complaints from the public.