The Judiciary has introduced uniforms for all judiciary staff for identity and as one of the many ways in the fight against corruption that has eaten up the judicial sector in Uganda.
The judiciary Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana says the introduction of the uniform is one of the many ways thought of in the fight against corruption so that everyone at the court premises is identified.
He added that clerks and other staff (uniforms), magistrates(gowns) and judges(robes) will easily be identified by members of the public while on duty.
Other anti-corruption measures such as wearing of staff identity cards, customer helplines, CCTV cameras, disciplining of errant staff and the information desk have been put in place to ensure a corruption free judiciary.
PS Bigirimana said he has started a “serious” war against corruption in the judiciary.
“I can assure you we have started (the war against corruption).One year from now, we shall call you to give an update,”Bigirimana said during a function to launch uniforms for all judiciary staff at the High Court in Kampala.
According to Bigirimana, corruption has been happening in a number of ways including receipt of gifts and money from litigants by the judiciary officials to influence court proceedings that he said has affected proper service delivery to members of the public.
“After receiving gifts and money, there is always alteration of records and removing of documents. In other cases you find staff receive court fees from litigants and distort information in court. I want to assure the public that the war to fight corruption is on and nobody will be spared.”
He is determined that the introduction of these identification measures will enable the public from bribery, extortion and in tracking the undisciplined judiciary staff.
“It takes a lot to fight corruption because it is sophisticated. Corruption doesn’t only mean stealing government money. It ranges from the lowest person to the highest persons. The most important thing is that we are determined to fight corruption.”
Furthermore, he revealed that at least 550 support staff including court clerks and drivers will be given three sets of uniforms that they are expected to wear at all times while on duty.
“Over the years, the various disciplinary organs have dismissed three staff, 15 interdicted and 30 on reprimand. Currently, no judiciary staff can receive payments for court filing fees, fines and bail deposits as all payments for court services are made through commercial banks and e-payments systems.” PS Bigirimana said.
The introduction of judiciary staff uniforms follow recommendations in the 2020 Judiciary Anti-Corruption Taskforce repot which emphasized uniforms for all support staff to ease identification .