President Museveni Appoints 11 New Acting High Court Judges

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President Museveni has appointed 11 new acting High Court judges in a bid to solve the staffing gap in the expanded Judiciary structure.

According to a July 17 memo from the office of Clerk to Parliament, the appointees are to interact with the House’s Appointments Committee headed by Speaker Anita Among on Friday starting at 10am.

The notice of meeting to various members of the Appointments Committee was signed off by the Clerk to Parliament, Mr Adolf Mwesige Kasaija.

The appointees are Ms Flavia Nabakooza, who has been a registrar, Mr Phillip Willebrord Mwaka, formerly in Attorney General’s chambers, Dr Christine Akello Echookit, Mr Amos Kwizera, Mr David Makumbi, Mr Samson Lwokya, and Mr Jamson Karemani, the Public Relations Officer of the Judiciary.

Others are Ms Rosette Comfort Kania, Ms Patience Emily Tumusiime Rubagumya, Mr Farouq Lubega, Ms Jacqueline Mwondha, and Ms Aisha Naluzze Batala.

Also appointed is Mr Samuel Were Wandera as the new executive director of the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA).

Mr Wandera will now replace Mr Sydney Asubo, the pioneer executive director, who served for two terms.
The FIA is a government body that was founded in 2014 whose core mandate is to fight money laundering and combat terrorism financing in the country.

The appointment of the 11 acting judges brings the number of High Court judges to 81, including the Principal Judge Flavian Zeija, who heads them.

Early this month, Parliament approved the expanded staffing structure for High Court judges from the current structure of 83 judges to 151.

This means that there is now a staffing gap of 70 judges.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has always vowed that if he is given the 151 judges, no case will spend more than a year in court when it has not been resolved and a judgment given.

Judiciary statistics show that about Shs8 trillion is stuck in commercial disputes at the Commercial Division of the High Court because there are not enough judges to hear them, a scenario that scares away potential investors.

The current case backlog in the Judiciary is more than 46,000.

A case becomes backlogged when it has been in the justice system for more than two years without being resolved.

The appointment of these 11 new judges in acting capacity comes at a time when the Attorney General has appealed against the judgment of the Constitutional Court that held that appointment of 16 judges of the

High Court in acting capacity for two years, was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land, is yet to give its final decision on the matter.

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