JSC disowns Tibatemwa on new job in Seychelles

Lillian Tibatemwa, Supreme Court judge. PHOTO BY ERIC DOMINIC BUKENYA

In a twist of events, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has denied approving Supreme Court judge Lillian Tibatemwa to serve in the Seychelles court.

A source in JSC yesterday said they did not know of Justice Tibatemwa’s appointment to the Seychelles Court of Appeal until Tuesday.

“We have not endorsed Justice Tibatemwa to join the Seychelles court. We just learnt of it through social media yesterday [Tuesday]. So, this is contrary to what I am reading in the papers that JSC, which is her employer, had approved her move,” the source said.

“We are going to notify the line minister [Justice minister Kahinda Otafiire] about it since it raises legal issues of how a sitting judge without permission gets a job in another country,” the source added. On Monday, Justice Tibatemwa took oath before the President of Seychelles, Mr Danny Faure, as she joined their Court of Appeal, the country’s highest court.

Uganda’s Judiciary’s media unit came out to clarify that she was joining the Seychelles court on part-time basis and would still handle cases back home.

They added that Justice Tibatemwa had discussed the appointment with Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and the JSC. JSC is the statutory body that recruits and disciplines judicial officers.

According to the Seychelles State House website, President Faure appointed Justice Tibatemwa on recommendations made by the Constitutional Appointments Authority pursuant to Article 123 of the Constitution of Seychelles. Other Ugandan judges who have worked in Seychelles are Justice Duncan Gaswaga and Justice Fredrick Egonda Ntende, with the latter having served as the country’s chief justice.

Uganda’s former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki also at one time worked as a judge in Swaziland while at the same time serving in Uganda.