The new Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija, has urged judges to consider advocates key stakeholders in court business and allow them more access to their chambers.

“Have an open-door policy for the lawyers to see you anytime if you are available in chambers. There is no reason they shouldn’t see you, unless you have something to hide. Lawyers remain important stakeholders to us because their contributions carry weight in the decisions we make,” he said.

Dr. Zeija spoke during a farewell dinner organized for him by the Justice, Law and Order Sector stakeholders in the Mbarara High Court Circuit, where he served as senior resident judge. The occasion was also used to welcome the new Senior Resident Judge, Tadeo Asiimwe, to the Circuit.

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Mbarara’s second Resident Judge, Joyce Kavuma spoke on behalf of the JLOS Stakeholders: “It is befitting for us to celebrate with you this big achievement as a family and we thank God for his blessings…Mbarara is one of the biggest (High Court) Circuits in Uganda and they usually send Judges who can deliver. Indeed, your promotion has proved it right.”

Justice Zeija will be remembered for time management, fighting backlog through initiatives like Plea Bargain, efforts towards decongestion of prisons, pushing for session facilitation from Kampala, as well as being result-oriented, according to Judge Kavuma.

“For the incoming Senior Resident Judge…feel at home and just know that we are all ready to work with you,” she said.

The occasion was attended by Deputy Registrar, Amos Kwizera; Mbarara Bishop, Rt. Rev. Sheldon Mwesigwa; the district leaders, the heads of JLOS institutions in the area, advocates and other Mbarara-based Judiciary staff.