Entering its full week, Uganda Judicial officers’ strike causing confusion: Gimara

Entering its full week, Uganda Judicial officers’ strike causing confusion: Gimara
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As Uganda’s judicial officers since last Friday stay away from courtrooms following citing unresolved welfare issues by government, the innocent public may unnecessarily suffering for a prolonged period, reveals President of the Uganda Law Society Francis Gimara.

“We appeal to the members of UJOA to have some flexibility in their negotiations with the Executive so that the innocent public does not unnecessarily suffer for a prolonged period,” Mr. Gimara said in a statement to the law fraternity.

He was expressing reservations over the move by the Uganda Judicial Officers Association that commenced industrial action.

About a month ago, judicial officers right from the appellate court down to the lower magistrates courts, converged in Kampala in an extra general assembly and voted to lay down their tools by August 23 if their biting welfare issues were not addressed.

The five key areas that more than 400 judicial officers want government to address are salary increment, provision of vehicles to enhance land justice, medical insurance, housing and security.

“This was triggered by the failure of the Executive branch of the State to heed to the demands of the association issued in July 2017 for improvement of their welfare and working conditions. The industrial action has paralyzed work in the courts throughout the country,” Gimara said.

“Needless to mention, several suspects remain in police cells and prison unable to have their day in court. Several commercial and civic disputes remain unresolved. It is most unfortunate that matters have been permitted to escalate to a level where a whole arm of Government is constrained to resort to industrial action for the Executive to attend to its genuine demands and concerns.{”

“This should not have been the case if the Executive had attended to these legitimate demands of the Judiciary in time. We believe that a firm time-bound commitment given in good faith to attend to these demands in a phased manner in the short-term would have averted this industrial action.”

“It must be recalled that the Government has been unacceptably slow in attending to the past promises made to improve the conditions of service for Judicial officers by the President.”

The countrywide strike continues.

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