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Judiciary seeks UGX 77b budget for vehicles, construction of courts

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The Judiciary Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana has asked Members of Parliament to push for an additional budget allocation of 77.84 billion shillings for construction of courts and procuring cars.

Bigirimana was on Friday leading a team of Judiciary officials before the committee chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth over the budget framework paper for the coming financial year 2020/2021.

According to the budget estimates, Judiciary’s budget has been maintained at Shillings 181.61 billion.

Bigirimana told MPs that the allocation is minimal for the institution and has left key activities for the coming financial year not funded. He appealed for an additional allocation of 26.5 billion shillings to purchase cars for judicial officials.

He also emphasized the need for 10 billion shillings to construct the appellate courts (Supreme Court, Court of Appeal), 6.4 billion for construction of four Chief Magistrate Courts in Alebtong, Ntoroko, Gomba and Bubulo and four Grade 1 courts at Abim, Maracha, Namayingo and Kazo.

Also required is 3 billion to construct High Court circuits of Soroti and Rukungiri, 3.6 billion for the renovation of courts and others.

Committee Chairperson Jacob Oboth said that spending Shillings 11 billion on rent every financial year by the Judiciary was not worthwhile.

Simon Peter Opolot, the Judiciary Principal Economist also noted that most courts need renovation and install equipment to guide the delivery of justice.

Besides the construction of courts, Bigirimana is also pushing for 13.64 billion to recruit judicial and non-judicial officials to operationalize the gazetted courts, 6.5 billion to establish and operationalize the Electronic Case Management Information System, 3 billion to roll out video conferencing to six High Court Circuits in Mbarara, Jinja, Arua, Masaka, Gulu and Fort Portal.

Others include 2.2 billion shillings for provision of solar equipment and furniture in courts and 3 billion for the 2021 election petition cases.

However, Oboth tasked the Judiciary to choose the basic out of the funding they require. But Bigirimana said that all the activities are equally important proposing that for each activity, the government should provide half of the required money.

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