A recent study carried out in the police and courts in northern Uganda showed that corruption had become a “system” in itself and a norm.
The researchers from the Institute for Human Security at Tufts University in the US, with assistance from Ugandan researchers, quoted respondents saying justice is for sale in the region.
Corruption has glaring spillovers on the entire justice chain, ranging from impeding access to justice by the poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups to creating mistrust in the system by the general public. Judicial corruption involves some court clerks entering into shady agreements with litigants, non-refund of bail, bribing court officials in order to be granted bail and having a file case listed.
Late last year, The Observer reported that Chief Justice Bart Katureebe was aware of judicial corruption and, on that note, he said corrupt judicial officers should be debarred.
Poor remuneration of judicial officers has been inter alia cited as the driver of corruption in the judiciary. At the heel of poor remuneration, the budget for the Justice, Law and Order Sector has been cut by Shs 6.8 billion in the next financial year.
The ramification of poor pay of judicial officials risks inducing more corruption in the judiciary. Therefore, deliberate efforts to increase funding to the judiciary must be scaled up so that even the court clerks who earn as little as Shs 280,000 per month are not easily compromised.
Needless to say, there have been efforts by the JLOS institutions in fighting graft, such as adopting the Anti-Corruption Strategy (2012) on the premise of detecting, investigating and adjudicating corruption across the 18 JLOS member agencies.
Implementation of such has, however, been derailed by the lack of commitment of the different agencies to customize and localize it in their operational frameworks. Only three out of 18 JLOS institutions have holistically incorporated the strategy in their operational frameworks.
Save us from this unbearable noise!
The Observer columnist and satirist Jimmy Spire Ssentongo wrote about a very pertinent issue recently, noise pollution. All Ugandans need to wake up to this issue.
As city residents, we appreciate efforts by KCCA and the Uganda Communications Commission to clamp down on noise pollution which had become an unbearable irritant to many in Kampala and neighbouring Wakiso.
However, the two agencies have ignored the worst culprit among all the noise polluters. There is an open-air church off Sir Apollo Kaggwa road which has the loudest speakers I have ever heard and which conducts its prayers with disregard to the comfort and convenience of the neighbors.
Whether on weekends or weekdays (around 10am), their loud, open-air preaching can be heard even some kilometres away!
Moreover, this church is close to Makerere University and several secondary schools in the area where students are always in class. How can students be expected to read or concentrate with all the noise and sound?
We appreciate the freedom of religion in this country which is unprecedented, but it is really being abused. Can Nema, UCC and KCCA please help the suffering people of the area and bring this church to order!
Parents need to provide pads
It is very unfortunate that the government is not able to fulfil its promise of providing free sanitary pads after it had pledged to do so in the last presidential campaigns due to budget constraints.
However, I believe it shouldn’t be entirely the government’s role to provide sanitary pads to girls but also the parents should try to do so.
Menstruation periods are part of every woman and in the past women used everything from tree leaves, old clothes, wool, animal skins to even grass to absorb menstrual flow. Today, there is a variety of sanitary products for girls and women depending on their flows, which has made women more comfortable.
But how many governments in Africa distribute free sanitary towels to their citizens? Countries such as Zambia have tried but have not been able to sustain it, which makes it more reasonable for parents to be responsible enough to buy sanitary pads for their children.
Next president must be woman
For Uganda to continue on the right path to sustainable development goals, it is important to have a woman president.
This confirms the affirmative action on women we have embraced over years. In such ranks we have the likes of Irene Mulyagonja, Kasule Lumumba, Janet Museveni and Grace Akullo. Where is Cecilia Ogwal?
Women MPs are letting us down
It’s absurd that the women we sent to parliament to fight for us are just fighting for themselves. Our MPs would now be the ones on the frontline ensuring that the education ministry includes the sanitary pads’ budget for the school-going girl-child in their main budget.
Being women, they know what young girls go through. But they are just keeping quiet and looking on. I would have loved to see women MPs walk out of parliament upon the first lady’s mention of not providing pads to the girl child because of budget limitations.
You could defend your Shs 80m daycare, Shs 150m for a new vehicle, tax exemption and allowance increment, but you can’t defend pads for the girl child? Shame on you woman MPs.