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BUDGET: Construction of Mbarara, Gulu regional courts postponed

Bigirimana

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Judiciary has shelved plans to construct the regional court of Appeal in Mbarara and Gulu cities this financial year due to budget constraints.

The Judiciary Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana told URN in an interview at the Judiciary Headquarters in Kampala Wednesday that while they drafted a budget of sh575 billion for the 2022/2023 financial year, only Shillings 381 billion was allocated, which has affected numerous projects.

He explains that key among the affected projects is the proposed construction of two regional courts of appeal in Mbarara and Gulu cities.

Currently, there is one Court of Appeal located in Kampala. Bigirimana says that also affected by the tight budget is the planned expansion of the Nakawa-based Judicial Training Institute, recruitment of 20 High Court judges, 40 Chief Magistrates, and 60 Grade One Magistrates, and the purchase of four video conferencing machines.

He now says that given the inadequate resources, the Judiciary will only recruit and cater for 10 High Court Judges, five Chief Magistrates, 30 Grade One Magistrates, three Registrars, four deputy Registrars, and 438 nonjudicial staff.

According to the breakdown of the budget, Shillings 210 billion will go to nonwage expenditure, Shillings 108 billion on wages, and the remaining Shillings 63 billion will finance development projects in the judiciary.

Bigirimana however, noted that despite the funding shortfall, the judiciary is committed to dispensing effective justice, adding that money will never be enough and only calls for proper management of the little resources available.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has at different events said that he dreams of a Judiciary where the people of Uganda will no longer have to travel long distances in such of justice but at least have a Grade One Magistrate in every Sub-county.

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