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Retired Chief Justices, Deputies to Earn Monthly Salary for Life

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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.
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe

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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 judges.   

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Bukooli 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.

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