By Kabuye Ronald
Chief justice Bart Katureebe and the minister for justice and constitution affairs Hon. Kahinda Ottaffire disagreed on the re arrest of suspect after being released on bail and on the budget for the judiciary. While delivering his speech at the opening of the new law year at the high court in Kampala, Justice Bart Katureebe who highlighted a modest progress in the execution of their work despite the numerous challenges like delay of cases, infrastructural problems, and limited access to justice by the public, corruption and high pre trial remand hence congestion in prison, cautioned police against its current norm of re arresting suspects after court bailing them and at the court premises with an excuse of additional charges.
Katureebe warned if Police does not refrain from fragmental abuse of the law since it might take the country backwards.
“over the last year we had an increased case of interference in justice administration, in most cases police acted as an appellant court and adding to the cost of litigation, the recent re arrests of suspects in the presides of court is a sad reminder that more still need to be done to institute the rule of law and it will take the country backward “said Katureebe
He also appealed to Government to increase judiciary’s budget for 2017/2018 which was cut down by 6.8 billion from the current budget of 116.5 billion yet they have an outstanding deficit of 102 billion. Katureebe says that the judiciary is not just lamenting but instead speaking for Ugandans who are seeking justice in vain especially the over 56, 000 prisoners who are on remand thus encouraging the executive arm to consider people’ welfare has priority.
However the minister for justice and constitutional affairs Kahinda Otafire diluted the hopes of the Justice after he informed the gathering that government has got no more money to inject in the judiciary just like the other aspects.
On the re arrest Ottafire defended the security operatives saying that there is no reason not to re arrest a person on other charges before shifting the problem to the methods used.
“Arresting aperson for stealing an elephant yet he got bail for stealing a sheep has no problem, the police has a right to arrest you” said Ottafire
He added that the executive is committed to implementing the recommendations of courts especially those concerning election matters before revealing the ministry has harmonized the retirement bill with administration of justice bill and will be tabled before parliament this February.
In the same way Bart Katureebe promised to introduce various reforms in the judiciary which will raise efficiency, professionalism, governance, accountability and innovation and intensify the fight against corruption.
the function was presided over by the vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi on behalf of the president.