April 27, 2013

List of New Judges Ready,Otafiire Assures Parliament

Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki who is Retiring this Year
Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki who is Retiring this Year

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire says President Museveni has already cleared a list of judges to fill the vacant positions at the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Otafiire said this while appearing before the parliamentary committee on legal and parliamentary affairs handling the budget frame work paper for the sector.

The MPs on the committee had given the minister up to Friday to give them an assurance that before the budget has been presented before parliament the president will have appointed the said judges or they cut the budget for the sector.

Otafiire told the committee chaired by MP Steven Tashobya (Kajara) that the President okayed the list from the Judicial Service Commission but says that he is not sure whether the list has reached parliament.

Currently the Supreme Court has only 4 of the required 11judges, Court of Appeal has only 5 of the 15 judges it needs and the High Court requires additional 41 judges.

Meanwhile, the Judiciary is experiencing a deficit of shs 1.8bn for salary enhancement for the judges and other workers in the sector.

Otafiire says the ministry has already forwarded their budget proposals to the Ministry of Finance but it has cut it down to an undisclosed figure.

Otafiire made this revelation while responding to the concerns of the committee members over the presidential pledge to the judges.

Otafiire says that as judiciary they have already forwarded their proposal to the Ministry of Finance which the ministry has since cut down to an undisclosed figure.

The ministry team led by Otafiire however said that his ministry is still negotiating with the Ministry of Finance to see how far the salaries can be enhanced this financial year.

From the proposal of the Justice ministry, the salary of the Chief Justice is supposed to be raised from shs 5million to shs 40million then shs 34million for the deputy Chief Justice in that order.

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