The Judiciary has fired back at the Land Commission headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire over conduct of judicial officers in the manner they handle land matters, saying the Commission needs to act more professional when addressing matters of such seriousness.
Judiciary’s statement is in response to a Press Release by the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters dated 26 October 2018, in which the Commission blamed the escalating land wrangles on the manner in which land matters are handled by the Judiciary.
The Judiciary didn’t take the criticism lightly, especially when it comes to the forum it was passed, arguing that whereas the Institution takes the issues raised in that Press Release seriously and would appreciate if they are properly investigated to establish the facts and make appropriate recommendations for a lasting solution, it was wrong to make it public.
“The Judiciary, however, is concerned with the mode used by the Commission to communicate matters of such serious nature. “We would have expected the Commission to communicate findings of such a serious nature in form of an Interim Report to the President, not a Press Release,” said the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe.
“The Judiciary, as well as the government, would have studied that report and taken appropriate action, including giving the officers mentioned in there in an opportunity to defend themselves. “Nonetheless, we will further study the Press Release and try to work on it appropriately.”
“Any judicial officer found to have acted outside the law will be dealt with accordingly,” added the Chief Justice. The Judiciary has on occasions interacted with the Commission, including on 25 September 2017 when it formally presented a detailed memorandum with recommendations regarding land administration and adjudication in Uganda,” Katureebe said.
Additionally, Principal Judge, Dr. Yorokamu Bamwine, said the actions of a few judicial officers should not be used to brand the entire Judiciary a culprit.”
“Lately, we are encouraging judicial officers to conduct judicial processes in a more transparent manner so as to enhance public trust and confidence in the Judiciary,” Bamwine said.