Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has reiterated and explained the need not to grant bail to criminals who commit capital offences like murder. He said it required amendment of the 1995 constitution.
The President explained that granting bail to such people encouraged mob justice by communities because aggrieved relatives of the wronged person react to show displeasure with court decision.
The President was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Duncan Gaswaga the newly appointed High Court Judge that took place on Wednesday at State House, Entebbe.
The appointment of Justice Duncan Gaswaga brings the number of judges in the country to 50. Justice Gaswaga was prior to his appointment head of the criminal division of the Supreme Court in Seychelles and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The President said that the practice in the Ugandan judiciary of granting bail to serious offenders had become a mockery leading to tendencies of impunity among wananchi.
“Why do you give Court Bail to somebody who committed grave offences like murder?”, he wondered.
Mr. Museveni said the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government has been in the lead in promoting the justice system in the country.
He referred to challenges of logistics and welfare of judges as temporary as these would be addressed as the national economy continues to register steady improvement. He congratulated Justice Duncan Gaswaga on his appointment as High Court Judge and said his coming on board would go a long way in easing the work of the judicial services in Uganda.
Deputy Registrar of the High Court, Mr. Munata Isaac, reported the need to have 80 Judges as required by the law in order to expedite the work of the judiciary service so that 21 of them are allotted to the Court of Appeal and 15 to the High Court. He noted that the challenges of the backlog of cases will be minimized if the required number of judges is realized.
Acting Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma, the Attorney General, Mr. Peter Nyombi and Head of Public Service, Mr. John Mitala, witnessed the ceremony.