Entebbe. Justice George Kanyeihamba has described Uganda’s Judiciary as “crude and corrupt” and lashed out at the Uganda Law Society (ULS) for doing nothing about it.
“The law society has been turned. You either change or resign. I spoke publicly about a year ago that one of the judges who was messing up cases and acting unjustly can be impeached under Article 1 of the Constitution. He is one judge who is very corrupt and is known to the ULS, he’s known by the IGG, he is known in the Law Council. There are a number of complaints against him, he’s still a judge,” Prof Kanyeihamba, a retired Supreme Court judge, charged.
He was speaking at the annual Lawyers Day celebrations at Nkumba University at the weekend under the theme “Nation building through facilitating access to justice”. The annual event brings together law students, practicing lawyers, and invited judicial officials.
Prof Kanyeihamba claimed he knows of at least half a dozen of Ugandan judges who receive ‘enkoko’ (chicken or bribes) and alleged that the ULS equally knows them but has not taken any action. He, however, did not mention the names of the judges who receive the said “enkoko”.
However, Mr Ernest Kalibbala, the vice president of the Uganda Law Society, expressed ignorance of the society ever receiving such a complaint of a notorious corrupt judge.
Mr Kalibala added that it should have been the responsibility of Justice Kanyeihamba to expose such a judicial officer since he has been close with the Judiciary.
“As senior citizen of this country, he should have made known to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) about this judge’s character so that he is investigated and punished if found guilty rather than keeping quiet,” said Mr Kalibala in a telephone interview yesterday.
“As ULS, we have not received any complaint about a very corrupt judge. However, justice Kanyeihamba has been in the Judiciary for a while and he should have reported the corrupt judge to the Judiciary’s integrity committee for appropriate action,” Mr Kalibala added.
Likewise, when Judiciary spokesperson Erias Kisawuzi was contacted, he denied having received such a complaint against a corrupt judge.
Mr Kisawuzi added that as Judiciary, they condemn corruption and that there are even internal mechanisms to discipline any judicial officer at any rank.
Justice Kanyeihamba further claimed there have been attempts on his life for his roles and unbridled criticism of the Judiciary and government he once served.
“I have escaped death three times but I continue talking. I have got threats in three high profile cases,” he said.
“When I challenged the reappointment of Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice as unconstitutional, many friends of mine said, Kanyeihamba leave that alone. You are going to be hated by the government, you can easily be killed but I went ahead,” he added.
He added that the greatest evil in Uganda, especially among the elite, is fear.
He also decried the standards of education in Uganda, which he said is churning out “mediocre graduates” into the job market.
“I have taken up a challenge with the minister of Education. If she cannot reform education, she should resign. You either change how students are educated at university or you resign,” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor