By Nkonge I Kaggwa in Kampala – Uganda
Former Ugandan Supreme Court Judge Professor George William Kanyeihamba has scorned the country’s current judicial system which he said was in a paralysis due to a lack of a substantive Chief and deputy Chief Justices to direct its affairs.
Addressing the media in Kampala Tuesday over the actions by acting Chief Justice Steven Kavuma in a case involving the Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago where the Mayor’s lawyers were locked out of court, Justice Kanyeihamba expressed disappointment and described the ruling as the most embarrassing and disastrous act Justice Kavuma has ever made because it has never happened in any other country in the world.
Kanyeihamba noted that the current system needs to be awakened through the intervention of both the Ugandan parliament or President Yoweri Museveni as the appointing authority because it is on the verge of collapsing. He pointed out that since the retirement of former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki in June last year , the appointing authority has adamantly refused to appoint a new chief justice, while the post of deputy chief justice has been vacant for over two years.
In anguish, Kanyeihamba said that for a year now, Justice Kavuma has been serving as the deputy chief justice while also doubling as the Acting chief justice. “The nature of appointment of the current acting and chief justice Steven Kavuma leaves a lot to be desired,” he said, noting that there was total chaos in the leadership of the judiciary because Kavuma has violated the constitution by appointing himself to the two posts without an appointment letter spelling out his roles.