KAMPALA – The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has poured cold water on the corruption investigation into the Judiciary instituted by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and called for a comprehensive commission of inquiry.
Justice Katureebe last week set up a six-member task force to investigate allegations of corruption in the Judiciary. The team is headed by the Inspector of Courts, Ms Immaculate Busingye.
But FDC says there is no way an institution can investigate itself.
“Without rationalizing this incident, the FDC urges the Judiciary to subject itself to an external investigation headed by credible people such as Prof. Fredrick Ssempebwa, Prof. Fredrick Juuko, and Prof. Oloka Onyango, Prof. Sylvia Tamale. Naming staff to investigate staff including their bosses is a cover-up,” said Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC spokesman, during a press conference at their head office in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, on Monday.
The country’s biggest Opposition party also urged the Judiciary to use the bottle-throwing incident in the Dr Stella Nyanzi as a moment of self-reflection about its effectiveness.
“If a citizen or citizens get angry and throw an object at a court officer, a responsible institution should use the incident for self-reflection and not as a platform to wage war at political platforms and formations. Citizens fund the Judiciary to the tune of Shs255 billion annually. Yes not sufficient financing but even this little has a value,” Mr Ssemujju said.
He also said the huge case backlog in the Judiciary is a sign of non-performance.
“The performance of the Judiciary remains a big concern. There are about140 cases pending in Supreme Court which handled only 43 cases the whole of last year. There are 15,628 cases before the Court of Appeal which handled only 598 cases last year. There are 130,000 cases still pending before the High Court which handled only 12571 cases last year. There are 183,771 cases pending in Magistrate Courts which handled only 62,000 last year. Nobody knows the criteria used by courts to hear cases. There are no standard grounds for giving or denying bail. And we all know what has been happening to money we are asked to pay for bail.”