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Museveni warns judges on ‘irresponsible decisions’

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President Yoweri Museveni has cautioned Ugandan judicial officers against making irresponsible decisions which affect communities and the development of the country’s economy.

Museveni said this as he closed the 13th annual East African Magistrates and Judges Association conference at the Commonwealth Speke Resort- Munyonyo in Kampala on Thursday.

The three-day conference attracted judges and magistrates from the five East African countries under the theme “Transformation of Judiciaries in East Africa for Improved Service delivery”.

As he closed the conference, Museveni attacked judicial officers who  make “wrong decisions in  total disregard of the law”,  especifically when they make it a must to grant  bail to murder suspects.

“An irresponsible judiciary will cause people to take the the law into their own hands. How do you offer bail to a murder suspect?  The Constitution says ‘may’ get bail not ‘must’ like the young MP who killed his wife and was given bail,” Museveni said.

Museveni argued that the law states that “bail may be given to these suspects at the discretion of a   judge and therefore cannot be a  mandatory act.”

The president said recent decisions by judges have been done under the guise of bail being a constitutional right.

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Chief guest Museveni (middle) flanked by Chief Justrice Katureebe and Justice Minister Otafiire at the East African Magistrates And Judges Association Conference

Museveni also called upon judges to be keen while presiding over cases relating to donor funded big projects, as it may retard the country’s economy when they issue orders to halt these already on-going projects.

“The judicial system must be connected to the following concepts; liberation, recovery, development, transformation and integration,” he said.

“You must talk about wealth creation. Some of the crimes like domestic violence are a result of poverty. If the justice system doesn’t help fight poverty how will society be stable?”

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