Govt, Kavuma Sued Over Chief Justice Pay

Justice Steven Kavuma has been sued for drawing ‘illegal’ allowances and other emoluments as acting deputy chief justice and acting chief justice, one and a half years into the two jobs.

In its November 28 suit, the Legal Brains Trust (LBT) asks the High court to compel President Museveni to appoint a substantive chief justice and deputy chief justice. LBT also attached Justice Kavuma as the second respondent. It claims government has wrongly permitted Justice Kavuma to act as deputy chief justice and chief justice, and in the process collect irregular allowances.

LBT says that the offices of the deputy chief justice and chief justice have been vacant since March 2013 when Justice Constance Kategaya Byamugisha passed away and June 2013, when Benjamin Odoki retired as chief justice.

The trust asserts that following the constitutional petition of Gerald Karuhanga in which the Constitutional court ruled that Odoki’s reappointment as chief justice was illegal, the Judicial Service Commission wrote and aised President Museveni to appoint Justice Bart Katureebe as chief justice.

“That [Museveni] doesn’t have a reasonable excuse or lawful justification for the delay, failure or refusal to appoint Justice Katureebe as the chief justice of the Republic of Uganda or any other persons whose names were forwarded as alternative choices by the Judicial Service Commission after a lengthy search and selection process conducted using public funds,” the suit partly reads.

Through the Centre for Legal Aid, LBT wants court to restrain Justice Kavuma from presiding over the annual judges and registrar’s conference, the new law year or any other ceremonies, which they want to be handled by Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine.

LBT also wants court to order justice Kavuma to refund all allowances and other emoluments which have been wrongfully paid to him.

Source : The Observer

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