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Chief Justice, Principal Judge Warn Judicial Officers Against Corruption

The Chief justice warned judicial officers that taking bribes and engaging in other forms of corruption shall not only tarnish their name but affect their career. He says the salaries they earn are not that high but are sufficient to facilitate them if they managed the well.

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Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dolo and the Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija have asked Registrars, and Magistrates to perform their duties with integrity and shun corruption tendencies.

The call was made during the Annual Registrars and Magistrates Conference held at Messily Hotel in Kampala.

Justice Owiny-Dolo The Chief warned judicial officers that taking bribes and engaging in other forms of corruption shall not only tarnish their name but affect their career. He says the salaries they earn are not sufficient but can facilitate them if managed well.

The Chief Justice warned that while the road into the judicial service is narrow with high competition for jobs, the exit door is quite wide and might not spare the indiscipline judicial officers.

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The Principal Judge said that corruption in the judiciary manifests during the bail process, writing rulings and judgments, and during taxation of bills of costs. He says they have received complaints of judicial officers asking for money to grant bail and or grant bail with simple or harsh conditions depending on the interests of the litigants extending the bribe.

Dr. Zeija also said that some magistrates connive with the lawyers and exaggerate taxation for a bill of costs. He says they will bring to book all judicial officers engaged in corruption tendencies.

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Dr. Zeija further warned against absenteeism and reporting late at work, a complaint he says the judiciary has received from members of the public. He called this another form of corruption that could deny litigants justice especially when cases are delayed due to the absence of judicial officers.

But the Grace One Magistrate of Mpigi Adams Byaruhanga says that some of the complaints about corruption are mere malice by litigants who want to frustrate cases before the court. He further asked that the judicial service commission handles complaints on time to allow accused judicial officers to know their fate early.

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The Chief Justice in his response said that the judiciary is considering a fast process in corruption complaints and have cases resolved within a year. He says it's unfortunate to have a case going on for over six years affecting the career progress of the judicial officers.