KAMPALA – Justice Richard Buteera of the Supreme Court was on Thursday sworn-in as a member of the fifth Judicial Service Commission (JSC) following his appointment to the Commission by President Museveni earlier this year.
Justice Buteera will be representing the Judiciary at the Commission.
He replaces Justice Jotham Tumwesigye, who retired in September last year.
The JSC is a government body, charged with the recruitment and disciplining of errant judicial officers.
Justice Buteera was sworn-in by Ag. Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo at the Judiciary headquarters in a ceremony witnessed by the Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija as well as senior officials from JSC.
Speaking at the swearing-in, the Ag. Chief Justice said; “Increasing the number of judges should be in the interest of the people of Uganda, it should not be debatable. It is like debating whether we need doctors in district hospitals.”
Adding; “How do you manage to create new districts or constituencies with all their structures by a stroke of a pen and then you say you don’t have money to appoint Chief Magistrates in existing magisterial areas?”
He said he was confident Justice Buteera would serve diligently. Justice Dollo asked the Commission to continue the discussion on the expansion of the JSC structure and recruitment of more Judicial Officers to realize the purpose for which the Administration of Judiciary Act was passed into Law.
“Our hands have been strengthened by the Act”, he said and went on to urge the JSC to advocate for issues of mutual interest geared towards the improvement of effective judicial services to the 42 Million people of Uganda in more than 135 districts.
He also appealed to the Commission to seek the opinions of Judicial Officers and staff about their understanding, impact and expectation of the implementation of the Act.
Justice Benjamin Isingoma Kabiito, the Chairperson JSC referred to Justice Buteera’s appointment as “a worthy replacement” and timely given his experience as the Chairperson of the Case Backlog Reduction Implementation Committee.
“You join the Commission at a time when we are undertaking comprehensive review of its structure. Although this review had been planned for some time now, the recent enactment of the administration of Administration of Judiciary Act, has given this effort, urgency and priority, since the commission must now appoint, discipline or remove staff from the Judiciary on top of the 400 Judicial Officers from our original mandate”, he said..
Notably present were the Commission’s Vice Chairperson, Justice Faith Mwondha, the Ag. Chief Registrar Tom Chemutai, the Ag. Secretary to the JSC Mr. Ronald Sekagya.
The other members of the Commission who were present were; Rosemary Nyakikongoro, Amongin Aporu Akol, Senior Counsel Ruth Sebatindira and Dr. Laban Nnini Kirya.