President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has advised the 11 newly sworn-in High Court judges to be transparent if they want to sustain their careers. Museveni made the remarks on Thursday, August 17, while presiding over the judges’ swearing-in at State House Entebbe. The newly sworn-in judges are Flavia Nabakooza, Philip Willebrord Mwaka, Amos Kwizera, David Samson Lwokya Makumbi, Dr Christine Akello Echookit, Jamson Karemera Karemani, Jacqueline Mwondha, Aisha Naluzze Batala, Rosette Comfort Kania, Patience Emily Tumusiime Rubagumya, and Farouk Lubega.
“This is a very good opportunity for you, the future is in front of you, don't be tempted by any shortcuts because I have been watching people from the 1960s who made mistakes when they got power. Don't contaminate your future, you have the opportunity, don't spoil it,” the President said.
The president also assured the Judiciary that their target to get enough manpower to ensure justice for all Ugandans will be achieved. “The target is to get enough manpower in the Judiciary to cover the geography of the country so that somebody does not have to go and look for justice very far,” he stressed.
Museveni however explained that the journey to increasing the size of the Judiciary is linked to the process of recovery, growth and transformation of Uganda's economy.
“What I have been explaining to everybody is that whatever the Government does depends on the economy, and this is what I would like all citizens of Uganda to understand. The Judiciary must understand the political economy of the country so that we don't keep arguing the way forward,” Museveni noted.
“What we have done in the last 30 and so years, was number one; to bring back the small island by achieving minimum recovery, number two, expanding it and number three is diversification, then number four is value addition and services sector. Now it is this transformation and growth of the economy that gives us revenue to employ more public servants, to pay more salaries and put up infrastructure,” he added.
Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo hailed President Museveni for strengthening the Judiciary of Uganda by adding 11 more well deserving individuals to the manpower.
"This brings the number of High Court Judges to 81 which is slightly over 50 per cent of our requirement. I congratulate you, my Lords, you are most welcome to the Judiciary family," Owiny-Dollo said.
“Increasingly we are getting people appointed to the upper bench who are more academically qualified than when we joined the Judiciary,” he added.
On his part, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Norbert Mao said the appointment of new High Court judges is part of the building project that the President is championing to ensure access to justice for all Ugandans. The event was also attended by Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the Judiciary Chief Registrar, Sarah Langa Siu, High Court Civil Division Head Musa Ssekaana and members of the Judicial Service Commission.
Article and photos, Courtesy of Newvision