President Yoweri Museveni has assured the Judiciary that the target of getting enough manpower to serve all Ugandans will soon be achieved since the country is also progressing.
The newly sworn-in judges included Justice Nabakooza Flavia, Justice Mwaka Phillip, Justice Kwizera Amos, Justice Makumbi David, Justice Dr. Akello Christine, Justice Karemani Jamison, Justice Mwonda Jacqueline, Justice Naluzze Aisha, Justice Kania Rosette, Justice Rubagumya Patience Emily and Justice Lubega Farouk.
For many years, the Judiciary’s top brass has continuously aired that the limited number of judges across the country has stopped them from delivering meaningful justice to Ugandans who attend to their spaces regularly to settle disputes.
At the close of the Financial Year 2022/23, the Judiciary Annual Performance report highlighted that the case backlog stood at 50,592 cases against 168,007 pending cases with the biggest backlog being at the High Court.
“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,” Museveni noted.
The president made these remarks while presiding over the swearing-in of 11 newly appointed High Court Judges at State House Entebbe on Thursday.
On this occasion, Museveni also 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 too must understand the political economy of the country so that we don’t keep arguing the way forward,” he noted.
In his speech, The Chief Justice, His Lordship Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny – Dollo hailed President Museveni for strengthening the Judiciary of Uganda by giving them more than 11 well-deserving manpower.
“This brings the number of High Court Judges to 81 which is slightly over 50 percent of our requirement. I congratulate you, my Lords, you are most welcome to the Judiciary family,” Hon. Justice 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.
In the last financial year, courts disposed of 205,967 cases out of a total caseload of 373,974 with the highest disposal rate being recorded by the magistrates’ courts.
On his part, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Norbert Mao said the appointment of new Judges of the High Court is part of the building project that the President is championing to ensure access to justice for all Ugandans.
In their key priorities for the financial year 2022/23, the judiciary plan is to recruit 10 High court judges, 6 registrars, 13 deputy registrars, 8 assistant registrars 13 chief magistrates, and 71 grade 1 magistrates to address the demand for services.
The event was also attended by the Deputy Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Richard Buteera, Attorney General, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the Judiciary Chief Registrar, Sarah Langa Siu, and members of the Judicial Service Commission.