Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee have wondered why judges who are sick and ailing are not sent into early retirement if they are indeed sick.
The argument came in during the Legal Committee meeting chaired by Bugweri County legislator Abdu Katuntu where the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Nobert Mao noted that increasing the number of justices at the Supreme Court will help bridge the gap created by some of the justices who are sick and ailing.
“There are many Supreme Court justices that are ailing as we talk now, a slight increase in my opinion, maybe not up to the number we are proposing, will allow the Chief Justice the latitude to allow the court to be functional. If you have justices who are on leave, justices who are sick, justices who are busy writing judgments, on old cases, an increased number will allow the court to continue sitting,” said Nobert Mao, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
However, Katuntu said that a suggestion cannot be a reason for the government to bloat the Supreme Court.
“If the justice is ailing as you say, there is only one decent thing to do, you take an early retirement,” Katuntu said.
He added, “The reason we were supportive of the Administration of Judiciary Act was really to say that a judicial officer really does not have to die in office; the package is for him to live comfortably after leaving office.”
In same meeting, Fox Odoi (West Budama North East) ordered Robert Ssekitoleko (Bamunanika County) lawmaker from National Unity Platform to vacate the meeting of the Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee, saying Speaker Among barred MPs who are boycotting plenary sittings from attending Committee meetings, until they return to plenary.
Fox Odoi said, “The Speaker guided Parliament and all its Committee that our colleagues who are currently boycotting plenary should not participate in the meetings of committees and field visits by the committees and I know that Mr Ssekitoleko is in that category. I am constrained to request him to take leave of the meeting until such time that they officially report to the plenary. The guidance of the Speaker is bidding on Parliament and its Committees; unfortunately, I will not contravene the guidance of the Speaker. So kindly take leave and let us transact the business of the Committee in your absence.”