By Micheal Aboneka
For some time now, there have been certain issues regarding the administration of the judiciary especially with Judicial officers’ logistical details.
This was barely a month after the judiciary received a new Permanent Secretary /secretary to the Judiciary. I am not sure whether this was a coincidence or something else.
The judicial officers have been complaining of the erroneous deductions of their allowances, failure to avail operation costs, disturbance allowances, kilometrage allowances and settlement allowances.
How do we expect judicial officers to carry out their constitutional mandate without facilitation? Why should a magistrate spend a full quarter without operational funds to buy stationery, fix bulbs among others? Why should judicial officers receive the same kilometrage allowances regardless of their different distances of their working stations? All these questions haven’t been answered.
Be that as it may, I have carefully reflected on this matter and there in an underlying issue we need to resolve! The Chief Justice, Chief Registrar and the Principal Judge are supposed to oversee the Judiciary and not a Permanent Secretary.
The Judiciary is an independent arm of Government which accounts directly to the Ministry of Finance and thus needs no Permanent Secretary and the mischief is to protect its independence as per article 128 of the Constitution. The law that establishes Permanent Secretaries is to the effect that there shall be permanent secretaries in ministries or government departments.
The Judiciary is neither a ministry nor a government Department and as such, needs no Permanent Secretary. It is therefore wrong, illegal and unconstitutional on the onset to have a Permanent Secretary for a fully independent arm of Government.
We therefore need to revise this anomaly and have the Administrative powers and functions back to the Chief Registrar together with the Principal Judge and Chief Justice. Let us address all the issues that the judicial officers are raising because they are entitled to them for proper exercise of the judicial functions.
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