The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja, is today expected to release findings of an investigation against High Court judge Elizabeth Kabanda Kibula on accusations of pocketing allowances of her bodyguard and driver.
The deputy IGG, Mr George Bamugemereire, confirmed the investigation is complete and said the report will be out any day this week.
The judge’s former bodyguard, Mr Jimmy Eyou, and former driver Matiya Akantorana, petitioned the IGG last year claiming they had not been paid their allowances she had signed for on their behalf.
“We are going to issue a report next week (this week) and our legal team is working on it. The report is ready,” Mr Bamugemereire said by telephone last Friday.
A source privy to the investigation told Daily Monitor last evening the IGG’s report will be released today.
“The IGG has found some merit in the petition and to avoid similar scenarios occurring in future, she has asked the accounting officer of the Judiciary, Mr Kagole Kivumbi, to stop banking money for criminal sessions for support staff on the same bank account of judges,” the source said.
The investigation against Justice Kabanda started in March 2017 after Mr Eyou and Mr Akantorana petitioned the IGG claiming the judge signed for their allowances but did not pass over the full amount to them. Between January and March last year, the judiciary had released Shs29m and Shs40m to facilitate High Court criminal sessions in Mpigi and Mubende districts.
The duo contend that for the Mpigi High Court session, Justice Kabanda only passed to them allowances for 30 days instead of 40 days.
They say they were entitled to allowances for the 40 days. Mr Eyou says for the 40 days he was paid Shs900,000 less while Akantorana was given Shs550,000 less.
“All the monies were paid by the officer of the Judiciary to Justice Kibula Kabanda for payment of the driver and bodyguard. However, she paid half and remained with a balance of Shs8m, which should be paid to us,” the petition reads in part.
However, their claims were disputed by the Judiciary.
When contacted, Justice Kabanda declined to comment but referred us to Mr Solomon Muyita, the judiciary’s senior communications officer.
“As judges, we are not allowed to speak to the media, kindly contact Mr Muyita who will explain to you the details,” Justice Kabanda said by telephone. Mr Muyita said Eyou and Akantorana worked half the criminal sessions and were paid accordingly.
“The bodyguard (Mr Eyou) absconded from work on March 2, 2017. He was immediately replaced by Stephen Akabway who was given the remaining allowance that initially had been meant for him. The same bodyguard was taken to the police disciplinary committee for having absconded from duty,” Mr Muyita explained.
“The driver was returned to the Judiciary on March 14, 2017 for redeployment after he complained about money he did not work for and was replaced by another driver David Kawanguzi,” he added.
Justice Kabanda has petitioned the Constitutional Court to block the IGG investigation against her.
The judge says the IGG does not have powers to investigate her. “The 2nd respondent (IGG) has illegally assumed disciplinary control over me contrary to Articles 144 and 147 of the Constitution, which vests that control to the Judicial Service Commission, the President and specifically, an appointed tribunal,” the judge’s petition reads in part.
She also contends that the IGG investigation is humiliating to her and erodes the self-accounting status of the Judiciary.