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Work Resumes at Gulu Court

Wilson Bayo, a senior State Prosecutor in Gulu, says they are ready with several files gathered from the region. By Monday morning, another 10 fresh files were awaiting to be sanctioned by the DPP in Gulu in addition to 244 other files that have been piling since the strike started.

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Work resumed at a slow pace at Gulu court this morning following the suspension of a two week's nationwide strike by judicial officers. Only a single suspect from Gulu Central Police Station appeared before Celsa Biwaga, the Gulu Grade one magistrate.

 

The other court rooms were empty by the time URN visited the court premises.  However, the court clerks and other officers from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions reported for work. A clerk told URN on condition of anonymity that normal business will resume next week. She said most judicial officers were out of station during the nationwide strike and clients are being notified to report for mention of their cases next week.

 

Hearing of at least 20 cases stalled in Gulu district alone during the strike.  Some of the suspects spent more than the 48 hours in Police custody. At least ten suspects escaped from custody at Gulu Central Police Station. Majority of the suspects were facing charges of murder, theft, burglary, malicious damage to property, aggravated defilement and rape among others.

 

 

Martin Okoyo, the Gulu District Police Commander, says they had expected to hand over many sanctioned files and suspects to court as it re-opened its doors today.

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Wilson Bayo, a senior State Prosecutor in Gulu, says they are ready with several files gathered from the region. By Monday morning, another 10 fresh files were awaiting to be sanctioned by the DPP in Gulu in addition to 244 other files that have been piling since the strike started.

 

On Tuesday, Judicial officers deferred their nationwide strike to December 11th. Under their umbrella body, Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA), the officers went on a nationwide strike on August 25th to protest poor remuneration and government failure to honor its commitment to increase their salaries.

They want the salary of the Chief Justice increased to Shillings 55 million from the current Shillings 20 million while for the Deputy Chief Justice from 18 million to 53 million Shillings. They are also suggesting an increment for the Principal Judge from the current Shillings 10 million to 50 million every month. 

Under the current salary structure, Grade Two Magistrates earn 737, 837 Shillings a month, Senior Grade Two Magistrates earn 860,810 Shillings, and Principal Magistrate Grade Two earn 1.2 million Shillings while Grade One Magistrates earn 1.5 million Shillings.

On a different salary scale are Principal Grade One Magistrates who earn 2.1 million Shillings, Senior Principal Magistrate Grade One gets 2.2 million Shillings, Chief Magistrates earn 2.4 million Shillings, Assistant Registrars 3.1 million Shillings and Chief Registrars earn 4.8 million Shillings.

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