Different media outlets (print, broadcast and online) published stories to the effect that the late Deputy Chief Justice Emeritus Laetitia Mukasa Kikonyogo died before receiving her full retirement benefits.
The stories were attributed to a speech by the Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, during the Wednesday (November 29) Special Event organised at the High Court grounds in Kampala to pay tribute and respects to the late Kikonyogo.
Justice Kikonyogo, 77, who retired in 2010, died on November 23, 2017 of heart complications and is due to be laid to rest in a state burial this Saturday at her ancestral home in Namulamba, Mityana.
The Judiciary notes that the media reports misrepresented facts about payments of retirement benefits to Justice Kikonyogo and quoted the Chief Justice out of context.
Records in the Judiciary indicate that the late Justice Kikonyogo was paid her exgratia payments for a vehicle and housing; and is also one of the Judiciary pensioners who have been promptly receiving their monthly pension payments.
In his speech on Wednesday, the Chief Justice alluded to a September 2015 pledge by President Yoweri Museveni during his meeting with all judges at State House Entebbe that judicial officers should retire with 100 percent benefits.
The CJ said the president was personally concerned that “judges work so hard for a long time and do not engage in businesses and any other activities like other people, but lack adequate attention when they retire. He (president) gave an example of Lady Justice Kikonyogo, who he said worked for so long, serving this country, but was in a wheel chair then, without much attention from the state.
“It is sad that Justice Kikonyogo died before the President’s promise for judges to retire with full benefits has not been realized,” the Chief Justice said on Wednesday.
It was agreed in the State House meeting that the issue of judges’ retirement benefits should be fixed in the Administration of the Judiciary Bill, yet to be tabled in Parliament.
The Judiciary understands that tabling of the Bill has been partly delayed by the failure by the Ministry of Finance to issue a Certificate of Financial Implication to confirm that government will be in position to pay retirement benefits to judicial officers when they retire.
This is what the chief justice meant in his speech on Wednesday when he referred to Justice Kikonyogo having died without realizing the presidential promise about full retirement benefits.
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