Members of the judiciary in the country have been urged to prioritize disposal of business cases so that Uganda is prevented from having a bad reputation.
The call was made by President Yoweri Museveni today at State House, Entebbe when he presided over the swearing in of 3 Judges of the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court and 12 for the High Court. The ceremony was attended, among others, by Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and former Premier, Kintu Musoke.
Ugandas competitive advantage should not be interrupted by slow commercial justice. Start with business issues because slow justice can give Uganda a bad reputation. Investors are setting up factories in Uganda because we have ensured security. We have got a strong Army, he said.
The Judges of the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court, Justice Irene Esther Mulyagonja and Monica Kalyegira Mugenyi who took the oath in the past, were introduced to the President. Justice Kibedi Muzamir took the oath of allegiance to the Republic of Uganda and was also introduced to the President.
The 12 Judges of the High Court who took the oath today are Lady Justice Esta Nambayo, Justice Isaac Muawata, Justice Isa Sserunkuuma, Vincent Emmy Mugabo, Philip Odoki and Lady Justice Immaculate Busingye. The others are Lady Justice Suzan Abinyo, Byaruhanga Jesse Rugyema, Boniface Wamala, Lady Justice Jane Okwo, Lady Justice Jean Rwakakooko and Lady Justice Victoria Nakintu Nkwanga Kataamba.
The President, while congratulating them upon their achievement, reminded them to ensure the security of persons and property adding that murder and rape should be treated as serious matters.
I congratulate the new judges upon their appointments. I am pleased to preside over the swearing in of judges. I represent the freedom fighters and we want a minimum package of equal rights. Secondly, I represent the elected people. We must work and we cannot accept impunity,” he added.
He observed that 68% of the population in Uganda work only for the stomach. He, therefore, reiterated that the need to transform wananchi to participate in the money economy. He asked them not to treat village thieves lightly and the judicial officials must treat them strictly because they affect the society.
The President also noted that bibanja owners are being evicted saying that they need to be assisted. He vowed never to allow the bibanja people to be chased away adding that they are the primary partners of the NRM in the struggle.
On the economy President Museveni observed that the people of UIganda are beginning to produce for the national money economy and cited the example of 5 million tons of maize that Uganda produces annually but only 1 million tons are consumed in the country with the rest being exported. He stressed that it is vital to ensure that Uganda remains competitive. He expressed pleasure that under NRM, the country now has 5,000 industries up from 80 in 1986 when the Movement took political power.
Turning to remuneration of judicial officers, the President said that the recent pay increment to them was the beginning of good things to come.
Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe saluted President Museveni for enabling the appointment of Judges and thanked him for the recent enhancement of the salaries of judges.
The Attorney General, William Byaruhanga congratulated the newly sworn-in members of the bench and reminded of the requirement to ensure and uphold justice for all people.