Uganda Law Society (ULS), an association bringing together all legal practitioners in the country yesterday attacked the Executive for abandoning the grievances in the judiciary that led to a nationwide sit down strike of judges and magistrates.
On Friday last week, judicial officers under their umbrella association of Uganda Judicial officers Association (UJOA) announced an industrial action in protest of government’s failure to improve their working conditions within a 30day period they had provided.
In a letter dated 29th August Mr. Francis Gimara, the ULS boss called upon the Executive to demonstrate credible and tangible commitment in resolving judicial officers’ demands.
“It must be recalled that the government has been unacceptably slow in attending to past promises made to improve the conditions of service by the president. It is also a fact that government never acted to previous recommendations of Judicial Service Commission on this important matter,” said Gimara.
“Judiciary is an equally important arm of government deserving all necessary support to execute its constitutional mandate and undermining their demands only serves to undermine the justice structure of our democracy”
Gimala asked the Executive to ensure that the Administration of Justice Bill is tabled before parliament and passed, noting that it is a spring board to solving many of the problems in the judiciary.
He however called upon the judges and magistrates as well to be flexible in their negotiations with the Executive, so that the innocent public doesn’t suffer for a prolonged period of time when they are away from their work stations.
The judicial Service Commission is expected to come with harmonized resolution containing the judicial officers and judiciary’s input which will be later forwarded to the Cabinet for approval
Later on the UJOA Executive will summon an extraordinary assembly where all its members will vote either to adopt the new resolution from cabinet and suspend the strike, or not.
The judicial officers want government to improve their working conditions by increasing their salaries, providing them with housing allowances, medical insurance and security.