The Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, has set up a six-member Taskforce, headed by the Inspector of Courts, Ms. Immaculate Busingye, to investigate allegations of corruption in the Judiciary.
According to the Office Instruction No. 4 of 2019 dated July 30, 2019, the Taskforce was tasked to commence business with immediate effect – and would report back to the Chief Justice within 60 days.
“Interface with the investigations team of Vision Group to understand the scope and purpose of their ongoing project on exposing corruption in the Judiciary,” reads one of the four terms of reference to the Committee.
The Corruption Taskforce will then receive the media recordings with a view of identifying the implicated Judiciary staff, who would then be invited to have an interface with the Team. The Taskforce on Corruption would thereafter make a report to the Chief Justice with recommendations on the way forward by the 30th September 2019.
The other Taskforce members are Mr. Vincent Emmy Mugabo (Registrar/Public Relations Officer), Ms. Susan Abinyo (Registrar Magistrates Affairs and Data Management), Mr. Godfrey Kawesa (President UJOA), Mr. Ayebare Tumwebaze (Assistant Registrar in the Office of the Chief Registrar/Projects), and Mr. Solomon Muyita (Senior Communications Officer).
The Instrument further states that the Chief Justice may extend the tenure of the Taskforce if need arises.
On July 9, the Chief Justice welcomed efforts by Vision Group to expose acts of bribery and corruption tendencies in the courts. Justice Katureebe subsequently had an interface with the media organisation’s top editors, partly to commend them for the efforts, but also caution them against sensationalizing the issue of corruption in the courts.
The Chief Justice said his administration will ensure that any court staff captured receiving a bribe will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“What has been happening is people say they have paid money for court services, but they are usually not willing to bring the evidence to us.
“We encourage such audits in all courts, and we are willing to do it as a partnership. Our aim should be to take action on the culprits by the Judicial Service Commission.”
He said the Judiciary shall continue to encourage court users and the public to use the available fora to come out and give evidence for firm action to be taken against the errant court staff.