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Judges, registrars to eat big as govt increases salaries for judicial officers

Group photo of Judicial Officers & invited dignitaries at the Benedicto Kiwanuka Lecture at Kampala High Court recently (FILE PHOTO).

KAMPALA – Motivation in the Judiciary is high after the government on July 1 effected it’s promise of salary increment for different judicial officers.

The new salary structure seen by this website indicates that some judicial officers, including judges and magistrates, have received 100 percent increment.

For instance, the new structure released by the Ministry of Public Service shows that the salary of a High Court judge has been increased from Shs9 million per month to Shs17.55m.

A court of Appeal Justice/ Constitutional Court is now pocketing a monthly salary of Shs17.9m down from Shs9.3m.

Likewise, a Supreme Court justice is now earning Shs18.3m down from Shs9.6m

When it comes to the top three Judiciary positions, there has been a minimal increment since the government had earlier considered them for salary enhancement.

For example, there has been an increase on the Chief Justice’s salary (Bart Katureebe) by about Shs670, 000; making him to now earn a monthly salary of Shs20, 670,000m down from Shs20m, he was earning in the previous financial year.

His deputy Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, had his salary increased by about a million shillings, making him to now earn a monthly pay of Shs19.5m down from Shs18m.

Principal Judge, Dr Yorokamu Bamwine, who is the administrative head of the High Court and courts there under, also saw his salary increased by over a million shillings to make him now earn Shs18.7m down from Shs17m.

The Chief Registrar of Courts of Judicature, Ms Esta Nambayo, is the biggest beneficiary in this increment as her pay has been enhanced by about 130 percent as she is now pocketing a monthly salary of Shs13.2m down from Shs5.7m.

Reacting to the salary enhancement, the Chief Justice who has since been longing to have a uniform salary pay rise across board, said: “My hope is that all of us judicial officers reciprocate this by working harder in the delivery of speedy justice,”.

Likewise, the president of Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA), a judicial association that advocates for the welfare of judges and magistrates, Mr Godfrey Kawesa said they were grateful before urging his colleagues to now work harder and dispense the much-needed justice to Ugandans.

“We are grateful to the government. Remember we led an industrial action in 2017 with salary increment being one of the grounds and now the government has finally heeded to our call,” a joyful Mr Kawesa said yesterday.

Mr Kawesa went on to call upon the government to fulfill its pledge of releasing all the Shs22.3b towards their salary enhancement saying in this new financial year, the government only released Shs13b. He said once all the Shs22.3b is released, the Chief Justice will be earning a monthly pay of about Shs26m and the lowest judicial officer, about Shs4m.

In 2017, all judicial officers who subscribe to their professional association of the Uganda Judicial Officers Association laid down their tools in protest of poor pay and other welfare-related issues.

The country-wide strike that lasted for about a week, parlayed court business and court litigants were left stranded.

The five key areas that the over 400 judicial officers wanted the government to address included; salary increment, provision of vehicles to enhance land justice, medical insurance, housing and security to those who are not entitled.

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