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Justice Byabakama’s appointment as EC head worsens case backlog in judiciary

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Left: Out-going EC boss Eng. Badru Kiggundu and In coming EC boss. Justice Byamukama

The appointment of Justice Simon Byabakama to  replace that of Dr Badru Kiggundu whose term of office expired on November 17 s Electoral Commission Chairman is a big blow to the judiciary which is already grappling with the problem of case backlog.

If approved by parliament, Justice Byabakama’s appointment by president Yoweri Museveni would worsen the challenge of case backlog in the judiciary.

According to the Judiciary Communications officer Solomon Muyita, there about 140 cases before Court of Appeal where Justice Justice Byabakama is one of the 14 presiding judges.

“We have 14 justices to handle the cases but one of them was nominated as EC chairperson. If endorsed, we will remain with 13. Appeals are not like petitions. An appeal might take a day,” he said.

According to him, the judges are committed to sit through November and December to see that some cases are completed. Some of the judgments will come between December and January

President Museveni last Friday appointed a new team of Electoral Commission headed by Justice Byabakama, replacing that of Dr Kiggundu whose term of office expired in November 17, 2016 after 14 years of service and organizing four highly contested presidential elections.

Case backlog, according to the Judiciary, refers to court cases not resolved within two years.

Findings in the 2015 Judiciary National Court Case Census revealed that a total of 114,809 cases had not been disposed of, with one in every four of the cases pending for more than a decade.

According to official records, a total of 26,676 prisoners have stayed on remand for more than 72 months.

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