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Judicial officers chief iustice over allowances

Left to Right: The Deputy Chief Justice , Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Having a Lighter Moment with UJOA President Godfrey Kaweesa at their Annual General Meeting in April. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Judicial officers have petitioned the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe over a directive scrapping their 30 percent allowances approved by cabinet in 2014.

The judicial officers through their umbrella Uganda Judicial Officers Association–UJOA led by their President, Godfrey Kaweesa, say there was improper computation of the consolidated allowances of lower judicial officers including Registrars, their Assistants and Magistrates.

The petition stems from a circular issued by the Judiciary Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana last month indicating that there was an error in the payment of monthly allowances to the officers, which is inconsistent with the figures as per the Cabinet Extract number 19 of 2014.

He said that the extract indicates that cabinet approved 30 percent consolidated allowances proposed to the Public Service Ministry for judicial officers payable per month.  Bigirimana attributed the error to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System-IPPS by the Public Service Ministry each time there is salary enhancement for the lower bench.

He revealed that effective this September, the 30 percent would be deducted from their monthly allowances, adding that their pay slips would indicate the new figures. However, Uganda Judicial Officers Association says the said allowances have always been recklessly miscalculated to the prejudice of low ranked judicial officers.

“This allowance was comprised of an officer’s current basic pay plus other consolidated allowances. Unfortunately your officers have either never received their salaries since 2014 or this allowance has always been recklessly miscalculated to the prejudice of judicial officers of the lower rank”, reads the petition in part.

Speaking to URN on Phone, Kaweesa said once calculated properly, the money they demand is more than Shillings 30 billion.  UJOA has threatened to institute a suit in a competent court of Judicature to challenge the unconstitutional practices should the Chief Justice fail to find a lasting solution to their concerns by September, 10th, 2019.

“We believe that that you will prevail our concerns raised within this brief to find a lasting solution for these issues. We therefore trust you to put all this to rest. In the meantime, we are also working on a suit in order to have court pronounce itself on some of the unconstitutional practices raised here in.”, the petition adds.

Last month, lawyer Male Mabirizi dragged Bigirimana to court for scrapping the contested allowances.

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