The monthly salary payment will be equivalent to that of a sitting Chief Justice and his/her Deputy on top of a one-off lump-sum retirement benefit equivalent to 2.4 per cent of the annual salary multiplied by five years of service.
Parliament has approved a special
package which allows Chief Justices and Deputy Chief Justices to continue
earning a monthly salary even in retirement. This is one of the provisions of
the Administration of Judiciary Bill, which was approved this afternoon.
The monthly salary payment will
be equivalent to that of a sitting Chief Justice and his/her Deputy on top of a one-off lump-sum retirement benefit equivalent to 2.4 per cent of the annual salary
multiplied by five years of service.
Currently, the Chief Justice
earns a monthly salary of 20.6 million Shillings while the Deputy Chief Justice
earns 19.5 million Shillings. The Attorney General William Byaruhanga says that
the senior judicial officers need to be supported to enjoy their retirement,
because, many of them are too old to pursue any other form of employment, by
the time they leave the bench.
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Opposition Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju
Nganda equally supported Byaruhanga’s proposal saying that these are senior
judicial officers who dedicate most of their time to the country. Ssemujju’s
submission was contrary to a section of other legislators who were proposing 80
per cent salary during retirement.
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The proposal was approved by parliament despite an objection from West Budama North
MP Richard Othieno who questioned the rationale for paying the same salary to a
retired judicial officer when the country is still struggling to appoint enough
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Central MP Solomon Silwany had also argued that payment of the same salary to a retired Chief
Justice and Deputy Chief Justice would demotivate those in active service.
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Meanwhile, retired Justices
of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Retired Principal Judge, Judges of
the High Court, the Chief Registrar, Registrars, Deputy registrars and
all Magistrates will be paid 80 per cent of their salaries, in retirement. Currently, the Justices of the
Supreme Court earn 18.3 million Shillings monthly while those of the Court of
Appeal receive 17.9 million Shillings.
On top of the payments, the judges will receive security provided by the government, a one-off lump sum
retirement benefit equivalent to 2.4 per cent of the annual salary multiplied by five years of service.
The Minister of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs Ephraim Kamuntu said that the payments to judicial
officers during retirement are to ensure that the active officers serve with
diligence and confidence not to be compromised.
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Jacob Oboth, the Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Committee chairperson said that the approval of the Administration of
Judiciary Bill was long overdue since it is meant to give effect to the
separation of powers between the three arms of government.
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The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga blamed the delayed
approval on the Bill to lack of commitment from the previous Minister of
Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
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On more than three occasions,
Parliament last year failed to consider the Bill after government disagreed
with the committee report in regard to retirement benefits of judicial
officers. The government then sought more time
to harmonize with legislators outside the floor of parliament. Government had
proposed that retiring judicial officers leave with their full benefits in
addition to wages given to their spouses and children something that was
strongly opposed by legislators.