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JUDICIARY: Judge’s driver must answer for his statements

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Judiciary has indicated that Stanley Kisambira, a driver to Justice Godfrey Namundi, will have to answer for threatening the lives of people entrusted to him in his line of work.

Kisambira a driver to Mbale High Court Judge Namundi released an audio clip, which went viral on social media platforms recently, complaining about salary disparities in the judiciary. He said that he has been earning a paltry 200,000 Shillings since he joined the justice system in 2008.

In the same clip, Kisambira said he was very annoyed, and disgusted that he could ram into another vehicle on purpose to end the life of the judge and the bodyguard at once.

But according to the Permanent Secretary to the Judiciary Dr Pius Bigirimana, Kisambira could have used the right means provided for under the Public Service Standing Orders as a public servant,  other than running to social media to address his grievances. He was addressing journalists in Kampala this morning.

Bigirimana told journalists that Kisambira will have to be held accountable for his actions because what he recorded in the clips was not only false but baseless because he as the Permanent Secretary is aware that he has been paid much more than he is alleging. He says that Kisambira has reportedly received more than 16 million Shillings for his services since August last year.

Bigirimana added that working in public service is not a jungle that one can walk in and out of. He adds that he summoned Kisambira to his office as soon as he heard the recording and officially wrote to him a letter indicating that his utterances were tantamount to gross misconduct.

“Whereas you did the right thing to express your dissatisfaction, the mode of communication used contravenes… the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2021, Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Uganda Public Service and the Circular Notice which was issued on July 1, 2021, and your action brought the judiciary service into disrepute,” said Bigirimana.

He adds that inciting violence and threatening to intentionally cause an accident is unprofessional, criminal and punishable in the strongest terms while uttering false information about pay that is far less than what he receives contravenes the Public Service Standing orders.

Bigirimana asked Kisambira to explain his act of gross misconduct within five days of receipt of the letter which was authored on May 16 and copied to the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, the Principal Judge and the Chief Registrar. Bigirimana said that failure to do this will result in disciplinary measures including dismissal from the Judiciary.

On Monday,  the Judiciary through its Spokesperson Jamson Karemani issued a statement explaining that drivers now receive a consolidated monthly allowance, paid out quarterly, in addition to their salary. The combined total monthly payment for a driver exceeds one million Shillings. The statement also mentioned that all judiciary staff members including drivers have access to health insurance services.

On social media platforms, Kisambira has been hailed as brave for exposing the low salaries of judiciary rank-and-file members. A fundraising campaign has been initiated to support Kisambira in obtaining legal representation and welfare. The campaign encourages donations, emphasizing Kisambira’s role as a whistleblower who spoke out about the exploitation of the judiciary. The flyer states, “Kisambira is ready to be punished or sacked but won’t be silenced.”

Kisambira who was arrested on Monday is still under police custody at the Central Police Station in Kampala as the Police investigate his claims.



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