Media Investigations Prompt Disciplinary Action Against Court Staff

The Judiciary management headed by the Chief Justice Hon. Justice Bart M. Katureebe has ordered for disciplinary action against two Magistrates and five support staff for disciplinary action following the recent investigations by the Judiciary Anti-Corruption Taskforce. The implicated staff include two Magistrates, two Office Attendants, two Court Clerks and a Process Server, attached to the Magistrates Courts' of Wakiso, Goma, City Hall, Mukono and Nabweru.

This action follows media reports by the Vision Group, which exposed corruption tendencies in the courts of Uganda. Vision Group is undertaking investigative journalism as part of its ongoing project titled: “Promotion of Human Rights and Enhancing Access to Justice through Media Interventions”, funded by the DGF. The Vision Group investigations resulted into setting up of a six-member Taskforce headed by the Inspector of Courts, Ms Immaculate Busingye, to investigate the allegations of corruption in the Judiciary and the team produced a report of its findings in December 2019.

In a Press Statement by the Judiciary on 9th Jan, 2020, Justice Katureebe, said the Judiciary top management reviewed the Report of the Taskforce and directed the Chief Registrar to charge the two implicated Magistrates and refer them to the Judiciary Disciplinary Committee.

"The Permanent Secretary was also tasked to interdict the five support staff and take disciplinary action in accordance with the Public Service Standing Orders. It is the disciplinary processes which will determine whether to forward the implicated officers to the Judicial Service Commission and Public Service Commission for further action," said Hon. Justice Katureebe.

The Chief Justice welcomed the media’s efforts to expose acts of bribery and corruption tendencies in the courts, but, cautioned them against sensationalizing the issue of corruption in the courts.

DGF is supporting Vision Group in the project aimed at strengthening the capacity of the most marginalized people to access justice and claim their rights. In addition, the DGF is also supporting other partners to implement interventions aimed at strengthening effective performance of the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS), as part of our bigger vision of strengthening democratization, protecting human rights, improving access to justice and enhancing accountability in Uganda.