KAMPALA – Top officials of the Justice, Law and Order Sector Secretariat on Tuesday, October 27, paid a courtesy visit on the Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, at his Court of Appeal chambers. Justices; Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Cheborion Barishaki and Stephen Musota attended the meeting.
The JLOS Senior Technical Advisor, Ms. Rachel Odoi Musoke, and her deputy, Mr. Sam Wairagala, used the meeting to congratulate the DCJ on his recent appointment.
The duo went on to discuss, among other things, JLOS support to Judiciary, the achievements registered and the challenges encountered. They promised to support the ongoing efforts by the Court to organize more sessions to tackle high case backlog.
“We’ll increase on our engagements with the appellate Court and consider it’s peculiar needs during the budgeting and planning period,” said Ms. Odoi, adding that there is need for the Court of Appeal to directly participate in the planning and budgeting processes for its business.
It was noted that the workload of 7,262 pending cases with over 1,000 new registrations per year, was overwhelming for the 13 Justices to manage effectively. The Justices also called for substantive appointment of the Court’s Registrars who are serving in acting capacity.
The DCJ said that with the upcoming elections, it was important for the Justices to be trained in election petitions management. It was also highlighted that there were inadequate ICT facilities such as screens for video link sessions, audio and video equipment and laptops for research assistants, among others.
Regarding late disbursement of funds, and fund cuts, the JLOS team explained that they equally receive the funds late from the donors and the government. They however, promised to engage stakeholders to jointly address the problem.
The Court’s Registrar, Godfrey Opifeni Anguandia, Ayebare Tumwebaze (Deputy Registrar), Mary Babirye (Ag. Assistant Registrar), Dr Alex Mushabe Karocho (Private Legal Secretary to the DCJ), also took part.
Mr. Ayebare presented the Court’s statistics that showed that since the year began, 950 cases have been registered while 1,274 cases have so far been completed. “However, the Court still has a total of 7,262 cases pending in the different case categories,” he said.
The deputy registrar noted that JLOS had reduced its funding to the Court of Appeal from Shs200 million to Shs100 million a quarter, which he said had adversely impacted the organization of the external sessions.
Justice Buteera amplified the need for support to acquire a motorcycle and a pick-up vehicle for process service, as well as a van to support the external sessions.