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Officials in Judiciary battle over control of courts, money and power

Officials in the ministry in the judiciary are embroiled in a tribal war and intrigue over government positions, and control of finances and are reportedly using the Public Accounts Committee of parliament, friendly courts of law as a means of blackmail, The Northern Press reports.

Crispus Mugisha
Courtesy of former chief registrar Paul Gadenya

In a specific revelation by L’Oyet Media boss from inside the judiciary, The Northern Press has been informed that a section of old guards in the ministry is involved in the rope pulling with another section over who should maintain influence.

The reporter told The Northern Press that a group led by former chief registrar Paul Gadenya, acting registrar Tom Chemutai, and Jinja court registrar Fred Waninda among others are part of the clique who claim they want to stamp their authority in the ministry.

“The group also has Julius Mandu Wamukhiyi, a finance officer at the ministry, these have the self-belief that they should be in charge of the judiciary,” the reporter wrote to the Gulu-based Norther Press.

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“These believe that since the ministry had been an eastern affair since the days of former chief justice Wako Wambuzi, a status-quo should be maintained at the top where the eastern region is in charge of running things.

According to an official letter from The Northern Press boss General Frank L’Oyet, Justice Gadenya was transferred to Masindi for instance but has since refused to report to the station, but insists on influencing issues at the headquarters to his own benefit via Chemutai’s office.

The letter also adds that Chemutai using his power has effected transfers twice already in under a month since he took over as acting registrar.

“The group uses power, certain courts, and blackmail to take out those in their way. And in the end, replace them with those loyal to them and their clique,” the writer maintains.

Using PAC

According to the letter, under circumstances where the victims need a little shaking, the clique runs through the office of the finance officer Julius Mandu to expose and frame their would-be victims.

“The group holds their casual meetings at Buganda Road where they plan for their next course of action. It is completely rare to find judges meeting casually like this hence, their meetings very dubious as far as this issue is concerned,” Frank L’Oyet lamented.

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Indeed, a source confirms that the group met last Wednesday over the fate of former Judiciary Permanent Secretary Paul Kivumbi Kagole.

Kivumbi according to the reporter was hounded out by the same team and later he was sent to the PAC, to be ‘finished’ by Mafabi and his team.

On November 15, 2016, the Judiciary received Mr. Kagole Expedito Kivumbi, a seasoned public servant as its Permanent Secretary and fourth Secretary to the Judiciary.

Kivumbi was last year replaced by Pius Bigirimana and sent on indefinite leave, this followed an enquiry from the PAC.  Kagole has since not been informed of what wrong keeps him on leave?

General Frank L’Oyet called Nandala Mafabi on his personal number several times but could not be reached.

However, L’Oyet also adds that when the clique fails to have the officers in PAC, they will use courts of law.

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“Imagine when the same people in charge send court after you, of course, you will not stand to win,” the letter reads.

Accordingly, one of the people already having a hard time is new permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana, who has been alienated by the clique for standing in their way.

Bigirimana according to The Northern Press boss has resorted to passing the work down juniors in certain offices, contrary to the expectation.

Consequently, the clique has already cooked Bigrimana’s goose and has set him up in another court case.

The clique dragged Bigirimana to court citing that he is operating beyond jurisdiction by insisting on handling duties of the accounting officer

To them, the accounting officer should be the Registrar (Chemutai), this according to Mr. L’Oyet is another attempt by the clique to control the finances of the ministry.

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Published by Racheal Fetaru

Ugandan Youth Empowerment Activist, Executive director of The Northern Press and Co-Founder of L'Oyet MediAtech Corporation.

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