The Chief Justice of Uganda, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo has revealed that corruption within the Judiciary is still a perennial challenge the system is battling with.
Justice Dollo made this revelation during the 27th Annual Government of Uganda/Development Partners Review at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Tuesday where he said that some Judicial Officers which has tarnished the image of the entire arm.
“The perennial problem of corruption continues to hover around the justice delivery system. I have noted that there are traits of actual corruption engineered by our own staff and the bush lawyers roaming around our offices. We need to work together and ensure that we reduce the opportunities for corruption while mercilessly dealing with any culprits,” he said.
CJ Dollo’s revelations affirm several reports which have been made highlighting corruption in Uganda’s courts. The findings revealed among others, issues relating to gross misconduct by court officials. These issues ranged from Court clerks at some courts, entering into written agreements with litigants with the former conceding to bribe them, non-refund of bail money, bribing court officials in order to be granted bail, and unclear circumstances of promotion.
Recent reports from Transparency International have also revealed that poor Ugandans who cannot afford to bribe the judicial system can hardly be served, Justice. Also according to the recent Afro barometer reports, the Public perceptions of corruption in the judiciary have continued to worsen as 45 per cent of Ugandans perceive that most judges and magistrates are corrupt.
However, according to Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, Cissy Kagaba, the fight against corruption in Judiciary must be dealt with expeditiously.
“Clerks should frequently be rotated because if they overstay in one place they become untouchable and ask for money freely. However, some judges don’t want to move their clerks to who they are used to. Expeditious handling of corruption-related cases before the JSC will go a long way in sending a message of zero tolerance to corruption in the judiciary, but also reducing the case backlog in the ordinary courts,” she said.
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