KAMPALA- The new Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, has said he has no space for corrupt officials and vowed to purge the Judiciary of such people.
Justice Zeija also said he will have zero tolerance to non-performance during his reign.
“In my term of office I will emphasise mainly three things; one is performance. I will ensure that we implement it and everything within the High Court and the courts below will rotate around it. Performance is critical. The second aspect will be integrity. There will be zero tolerance to lack of it. Whoever plans to be corrupt will definitely contend with my wrath. I will not even use a carrot, it will be a stick,” he said.
He was speaking at the High Court in Kampala on Friday while receiving the office from his predecessor, Justice Yorokamu Bamwine.
Dr Zeija has also promised to build on some of the reforms his predecessor introduced such as mediation, plea-bargain and small claims procedure that have eased delivery of justice.
Justice Bamwine briefed his successor about the big task that awaits him in the Judiciary, which includes overseeing eight divisions with 60 judges of the High Court, 38 chief magisterial areas and more than 200 grade one and two magistrates.
Justice Bamwine noted that although he was handing over eight High Court divisions, 38 chief magisterial areas and 126 Grade One magistrates, other offices are still understaffed with a number of courts not operational.
“We need to take justice to the people. We are not in every corner, every part of Uganda. We need to be there so that the majority of people also taste justice,” Justice Bamwine said.
He added that for the first time in history, convicts outnumber suspects on remand. “We now stand at 47 per cent of people in prison who have not been tried as opposed to about 52 per cent who are serving their sentences,” he said.
The Constitution provides for a maximum of six months on remand for capital offenders.