President Yoweri Museveni has said there is no serious dialogue between the three arms of government; the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, to talk about strategy and ideology of the country.
“We only talk about sharing resources which is not enough. We must understand, what does the State want to do? There’s a weakness of harmony and orientation of strategy,” he said.
The President was yesterday speaking to over 80 judges whom he hosted at State House in Entebbe.
Responding to a presentation by the Chief Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe, on the transformation of the Judiciary for National Development, President Museveni cited UPE and USE that were initiated by government following a steady tax collection regime.
“We thought having these children in school was unavoidable. When the tax collection improved from 2.8billion in 1986 to 728billion in 1997, we started UPE. The number of children in school jumped from the initial 2.5million to 8.8million. The Problem is that with policies and prioritization, the judiciary is not involved that is why they don’t get the logic and factors taken into account,” he said.
The President said with the tax collection now at 12000billion (12trillion), government has invested in infrastructure development in the education, health, roads and electricity sectors.
“Public service increased teachers from 80,000 to 160,000 with increased classrooms. There was load shedding which has stopped. We were spending very little of our money on infrastructure and depended on donors,” he said.
The President said government now spends Shs 3000bn on roads, 1700bn on electricity and quite a bit on the army.
President Museveni said that government has put more efforts in the construction of roads in all parts of the country using locally generated resources.
He said the roads would have a big impact on the national economy because they would serve for a long time and provide an opportunity to address other important sectors that need to be funded.
“We spend quite a bit on the army to be able to build a strong army although soldiers get low wages. Amin soldiers were well paid but had no weapons. But we said weapons first. We brought peace cheaply with most of our soldiers sleeping in Maama ingia pole. If we did not do this, we would have our country run by the United Nations,” he said, adding that peace is enabling Uganda to get more money.
“I can speak authoritatively that we have one institution that has given you exemplary service cheaply. It’s not a story, it’s not something I read in a book, I have it here on good record,” he said.
The President assured the Judges of state security after their retirement and said judicial officers should retire with 100% of their normal service benefits.
He said this is a cost effective way of addressing the welfare of the judicial officers.
He urged them to improvise in line with housing for the courts and proposed institutional housing for judicial service officers.
President Museveni said that the NRM Government was fully committed to providing vehicles for all judges and Magistrates in the country and proposed that they establish a SACCO that government can facilitate.
He said that the government would soon fund medical check-up for them in health facilities of their choice within the country.
Museveni said government will support the Shs 36bn five year ICT strategic plan to roll out a robust case management system providing for E-filing to reduce timelines and loss of files.
The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, commended President Museveni for eliminating extra Judicial killings in the country.
He however, pointed out that the judiciary has rental arrears of 3bn and that the Supreme Court may be up for eviction if nothing is done.
Katureebe said with a 46% growth in the budget from Shs63bn in 2012/13 to Shs92bn in 2014/15, performance also increased by 49% from 102,000 cases in 2010/11 to 152,000 cases disposed of in 2014/15.