Provide bribe evidence against accused judicial officers - judge

Thursday September 22 2016

Justice Augustine Nshimye (centre) with other

Justice Augustine Nshimye (centre) with other judicial staff at Nakasongola Chief Magistrates Court on Tuesday. PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA  

By Dan Wandera

LUWEERO. The Chief Inspector of Courts, Justice Augustine Nshimye, has asked individual court users to always come forward and testify against judicial officers who solicit bribes from them.
Justice Nshimye said it serves no purpose for the public to continue making allegations that judicial officers take bribes from them when they cannot produce evidence pinning the officers.

“We need particular evidence pinning the court clerks and the magistrates to facilitate disciplinary action against them because courts are established to facilitate justice without discrimination,” Justice Nshimye said.

Justice Nshimye was on Tuesday speaking to Luweero Town Council residents at Luweero Chief Magistrate’s Court where his team was overwhelmed by complaints against court clerks and magistrates in Luweero magisterial area.
Justice Nshimye said he had noted particular issues that would be addressed, including transferring court clerks who have over- stayed at the same court.

Complaints raised against Luweero court clerks included demanding money from litigants for cases involving land disputes to facilitate court staff visits to inspect land under dispute, general bribes to purportedly facilitate cases and long adjournment of cases.

Residents also raised concern about increasing land dispute cases in Luweero, saying court response is slow.
“The long adjournments for cases involving land disputes do not help resolve concerns, which call for immediate action. The court clerks block us from direct access to the magistrates,” Ms Cissy Namuddu, a resident of Kikyusa Sub-county in Luweero District, claimed.

Justice Nshimye said the Judiciary is grappling with shortage of magistrates and judges, which partly explains the case backlog.