JUDICIARY Latest Features

New Chief Registrar Assumes Office, Outlines Plan
HW Tom Chemutai handing over to the new Chief Registrar HW Sarah Langa.

The Chief Justice Designate, Hon.Justice Alfonse C. Owiny-Dollo on Friday (September 4, 2020) presided over the handover ceremony of the office of the Chief Registrar at the Judiciary headquarters in Kampala.

The handover saw HW Tom Chemutai,who has been holding forte since December 2019; hand over tools of office to the new Chief Registrar, HW Sarah Langa.

HW Langa, who becomes the third woman to occupy that office, after Judges; Hon. Lady Justice Flavia Anglin and Hon.Lady Justice Esta Nambayo, joined the Judiciary in 2005 as a Magistrate Grade One and rose through the ranks.

The CJ hailed the outgoing CR for the pivotal role he played in mobilizing stakeholders and harmonizing efforts that saw the passing of the Administration of Judiciary Act. "I must say you did well," he said. 

In his nuggets of wisdom, the CJ asked the new CR to always seek for guidance before making pertinent decisions."One of the greatest weapons at your disposal is consultation. I urge you to always consult widely, I believe in participatory approach to management and administration."

He also shared that under his administration, the principles of transparency and equity among all staff shall be upheld. "Under my watch, there is going to be equality and fairness, adding that all officers should be subjected to same benefits and misery in deployments."

In relation to this, he instructed that by the end of this month, every officer in the Judiciary should know where he or she would be deployed in January 2021. 

In his farewell remarks, HW Chemutai highlighted a number of achievements that the new CR will build on. These included timely processing and issuance of practicing certificates and licenses to both advocates and bailiffs respectively. 

"At least 2,382 certificates were issued to lawyers with only 105 pending and 456 licenses were processed for bailiffs. Out of the 105 complaints lodged against bailiffs, 94 were determined and only 11 are pending."

Other achievements registered include the reorganization of the bailiffs and lawyers' registry, drafting of anew bailiffs application form, facilitation of bailiffs sensitization workshops and conducting of swearing in ceremonies for three new judicial officers,members of various boards and tribunals.

All these, he said, resulted into an improved quality in service delivery and ensured strict compliance to the rules governing the different officers of court.

The Chief Registrar's 12 Point Program

Shortly after receiving the tools of office, HW Langa said she was committed and ready to serve in the new office.  She went on to outline her 12-point program that will guide her during her tour of duty as CR. These included the following;

  1. Enhancement of the pecuniary jurisdiction of magistrates; a strategy to curb backlog especially in civil and land matters.
  2. Implementation of the case backlog reduction strategies and follow up on compliance.
  3. Zero tolerance of corruption.
  4. Effective and timely induction of judicial officers.
  5. Improve working conditions and relations.
  6. Improving the PR function and display the great achievements and successes in the Judiciary.

She reiterated her commitment to cordially work with the Judiciary administration and to support judicial officers as they exercise their mandate of administering justice to the people of Uganda. 

"In all that I will do, I see my work geared towards three core goals: to consolidate (the achievements), to restore (the image), and improve (the achievement)," she stressed.

The Principal Judge, Hon. Justice Dr Flavian Zeija, decried the reluctance of headquarters in giving feedback to reported challenges in various stations. He urged the newly appointed CR to develop a reporting tool with a matrix that will assist in following up on the progress of resolving registered issues as may be raised by officers especially from upcountry courts. 

The Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Judiciary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, described the new CR as a woman of integrity as demonstrated during her service as the Chairperson of the Contracts Committee.An attribute that was echoed by all speakers. He also expressed his gratitude to the fact that a lady has been appointed to sit on the Top Management Committee. 

Senior officials in the Judiciary such as the Deputy Chief Justice designate, Hon. Justice Richard Buteera, Hon.Lady Justice Hellen Obura and the Under Secretary, Ms Maureen Kasande also witnessed the ceremony.

The position of CR is provided for under article 145 of the Constitution to assist the Chief Justice administer the Courts. The other functions of the Chief Registrar are enrolling advocates,licensing bailiffs and assisting the Chief Justice to conduct swearing in of the President and other persons who take oath before they assume office.

Posted 6th, September 2020
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