High Court judge Elizabeth Kabanda has refunded money which she had reportedly signed for as her support staff’s allowance, but never paid it to them.
According to court documents, Mr Matiya Karantionara and Mr Jimmy Eyou, formerly working as driver and body guard respectively, to Justice Kabanda , in March 2017 petitioned the IGG, accusing the judge of failing to pay their allowances for criminal sessions held in Mpigi and Mubende courts between September 2016 and January 2017.
A report signed by Deputy IGG Mariam Wangadya ordered Justice Kabanda to refund the money.
Justice Kabanda petitioned the Constitutional Court, questioning the powers of the IGG to investigate her over the matter.
She said the decision by Ms Irene Mulyagonja to institute an inquiry into her conduct is humiliating and defeats the independence and self -accounting status of the Judiciary.
The allowances included transport refund, upcountry travel allowance, leave allowance, supervision allowance and settlement allowance.
In a letter to the IGG, the Judiciary stated that the judge had paid the money on March 14.
“Hon. Justice Elizabeth Kabanda Kibula Kabanda on 14th March, 2018, refunded; Shs630,000” the letter dated March 15 reads in part.
Out of the Shs630, 000, Shs290.000 is meant for her former support staff.
According to the letter, of the Shs630,000, Shs340,000 was irregularly paid to justice Kabanda for two extra nights while at Mubende High Court criminal session in 2017.
“The Mubende High Court criminal session lasted 40 days but justice Kabanda was facilitated for 42 days,” the IGG’s report stated, ordering that Justice Kabanda refund the money for the extra nights that was irregularly paid to her while at Mubende High Court,”
The letter from the Judiciary also states that the Judiciary effective March 1, stopped depositing allowances of body guards and drivers on the bank accounts of judges to avoid similar occurrences in future.