Fired magistrate petitions court over suffering family


Ex-Nebbi district chief magistrate Herbert Birungi, who was fired in February this year by Judicial Service Commission (JSC) over corruption charges has petitioned court challenging his dismissal.

In February, JSC sacked four magistrates including Birungi after undergoing investigations that proved them culpable of engaging in corruption and unethical conduct.

Kagole Kivumbi, the secretary to the commission that is mandated to recruit and discipline errant judicial officers, then said the same commission has acquitted 12 other magistrates who had been accused of related charges.

The fired magistrates included John Agaba, the Chief Magistrate of Moroto Court, who was retired in public interest after he failed to write a judgment in a defilement case involving an eight-year-old girl, Herbert Birungi from Nebbi Court .

He granted a suspect a cash bail of Shs500,000 but did not issue a receipt and when a receipt was demanded from him.

He instead cancelled the bail.

Richard Oluge (Grade Two) who was arrested from Kitgum after granting a cash bail of Shs300,000 to a suspect but never issued a receipt to that effect and did not also refund the same money, and John Okpi.

Birungi was charged with conducting himself in manner prejudicial to the good image , honor, dignity and reputation of the service and acting in contravention of the code of judicial.

However, he claims that his dismissal was unfair because he only learnt of it the media while he awaited for a notice of when the ruling would be delivered against him.

“The Commission’s Disciplinary committee which tried me never resolved to dismiss me from the service but resolved to punish me with a severe reprimand and its decision has never been pronounced to date,” reads part of Birungi’s complaint.

He says that due to the commission’s improper and unlawful action, he was deprived of his office and employment which has gravely injured and inconvenienced him and that he is struggling to live and support his family.

Birungi now wants a court order that he be paid his salary arrears and allowances.

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