JUDICIARY Latest Features

PS/SJ, CR, In Meet with Court Clerks
L-R: HW Langa (Chief Registrar), Mr. Bigirimana (Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary) and Ms. Kasande (Under Secretary) at the meeting with Court Clerks at High Court Kampala

The Judiciary administration has committed to ensure that Court Clerks are placed to their rightful salary scale under Public Service. This promise was made on Tuesday September 14, 2021 at the Judiciary headquarters in Kampala by the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Judiciary, Mr. Pius Bigirimana, during a meeting he and the Chief Registrar, HW Sarah Langa Siu, held with representatives of clerks.

The meeting was at the request of the clerks' leaders, Mr. Bulenga Brian (Chairperson), Ms. Twijukye Elizabeth(Vice Chairperson) and Mr. Areeba Wonder (General Secretary), who wanted to voice out their concerns to the Judiciary administration.

The PS/SJ observed that there was need to expedite streamlining the issue of being wrongly captured in the system. "I do not see how people should be given a salary Scale of where they do not belong," Mr. Bigirimana said. Although the minimum requirement for the position is a Diploma in Law, Court Clerks are currently recruited on U7 Salary Scale instead of U5 as provided for in the Public Service Standing Orders.

The Ag. Commissioner Human Resource, Ms. Apophia N. Tumwine, clarified that her office was working hard to ensure that the anomaly is resolved. Explaining how the anomaly came up, Ms. Tumwine said, "they used to be certificate holders, but when the minimum requirements changed, their salary scale was never changed." Adding that a list of all clerks with diplomas had been generated and sent to the Judicial Service Commission for rectification.

The other concerns raised by the clerks were postings and transfers vis-a-vis career growth, corruption, staff victimization, sexual harassment, and performance.

On the issue of meagre salaries that do not match up the current cost of living, the PS/SJ disclosed that the Judiciary Top Management recently resolved to increase the monthly allowance of non-judicial officers with effect from October, 2021.He added that the Judiciary will equally be adopting the revised rates of duty facilitating allowances of 2018.

On behalf of the Judiciary Management, the Chief Registrar committed to work on the irregularities in posting clerks especially in regards to the languages spoken and minimizing overstay at stations. "This is a valid concern that we commit to work on. However, some clerks are not honest and claim to speak several languages just for the sake of getting a job," she noted. She advised clerks to be transparent with the Human Resource Office on the languages they can speak to guide the deployment process.  

The PS/SJ equally informed the clerks that, transfers are done based on evaluation, analysis, assessment of performance and the needs of the institution.

The senior administrators who included the Under Secretary, Ms. Maureen Kasande, applauded the group's pledge to fight corruption in their ranks. The Chief Registrar welcomed this move which she said would break the syndicated chain of corruption. She also promised protection for any whistle blower.

On issues of sexual harassment, the staff were advised to always report such cases to administration for redress. They were also implored to dress decently and familiarize themselves with the Judiciary Anti Sexual Harassment Policy.

Other observations made included the necessity for a needs-based training programme for clerks, and the need for drafting a policy/criteria on deployments and recruitment of clerks.

Posted 14th, September 2021
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