At the official handover of office to Pius Bigirimana, the new secretary to the judiciary, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe made it clear that he was not happy with the way Kagole Kivumbi, the old hand, was edged out.
Justice Katureebe singled out his dissatisfaction with the ongoing parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigation into the judiciary, which led to the ouster of Kagole Kivumbi.
In his speech during the handover of office from Kagole Kivumbi to Pius Bigirimana on July 31 at the High court in Kampala, Katureebe described the handover as an unhappy occasion because it happened at a time when the judiciary’s image has been battered and its solid foundation shaken.
“When I heard that I received Shs 2bn on my account, I was surprised because all the 36 years I have spent in public service I have never or even dreamt of that money. Even if you add up all my salary and allowances for the past five years, they don’t add up to that amount,” Katureebe said.
He, therefore, urged Bigirimana to push whoever is investigating the judiciary to quickly wrap up the investigation and allow the third arm of the state to perform its duties without any distraction.
Katureebe said corruption is not a new vice but what is important is knowing what is being done to stop it. He appealed to the auditor general, PAC and Inspectorate of Government to finish their investigations and punish those who need to be punished.
He thanked Kivumbi for his services and the improvements he has made in the judiciary especially ensuring that judges and other court officials get their salaries and allowances in time. He urged Bigirimana to be transparent, open and always analyze any information given to him to avoid unnecessary mistakes that might affect the judiciary.
The outgoing secretary Kagole Kivumbi, who was sent on forced leave on July 26 on the coat-tail of accusations of mishandling judicial funds, said he was happy he had been replaced with a person of good character who he worked within the prime minister’s office in 2008. He appealed to Bigirimana to follow up the shelved enactment of the Judiciary Administration Bill, construction of the Supreme court and Court of Appeal premises as well as the remuneration of judicial officers and allowances of judges.
He also called upon Bigirimana to make sure the electronic court case managing system, which is now functioning in Luzira prison via video link, is rolled out countrywide.
Kivumbi thanked the chief justice and other top judicial officers for being good supervisors who gave him a helping hand. He advised the new secretary to seek advice from them.
Bigirimana who has been permanent secretary ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development since 2013, promised to start from where his predecessor stopped and take the judiciary forward.
“I come here with a lot of experience since I have been permanent secretary in other ministries. The judiciary is a new field to me but I will apply the principles required,” Bigirimana said.