Outgoing European Union Ambassador to Uganda Roberto Ridolfi has supported President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to reappoint Justice Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice.
Speaking at a media discourse with Uganda Parliamentary Press Association Friday morning, Ridolfi noted that it is the president’s duty to ensure all critical positions of government are filled.
Ridolfi said that President Museveni was right to reappoint Odoki as Chief Justice if he felt he was the best available candidate.
Ridolfi’s statements come as a surprise as in June, the EU envoy expressed displeasure over governance failures in Uganda. In what were regarded as his farewell statements, Ridolfi argued against corruption and what he termed as “succession politics.”
The reappointment of Justice Odoki has drawn criticism from Legislators, Public and Uganda Law Society USL who have threatened to challenge the decision in the Courts of Law citing disregard of the Constitution.
Besides this legal angle to be taken, also lawyers under the same umbrella association ULS yesterday resolved and suspended attorney general Peter Nyombi whom they said is incompetent and has embarrassed the legal fraternity.
The suspension of AG Nyombi is closely linked to the reappointment of Justice Odoki since he gave the legal advice to the President.
The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides for a Chief Justice serving up to the age of 70 years and then another one is appointed.
The EU envoy also urged the government to improve the pay of Ugandan judicial officials.
He noted that in the European Union Countries the Chief Justices are the highly paid people in the countries saying that the 5million shillings previously paid to the Chief Justice was a disgrace.