Nine days into a nationwide sit-down strike of magistrates and judges protesting low pay and poor working conditions, government has Monday agreed to address their grievances so they can resume work as soon as possible.
The judicial officers since Friday July 25 have been on strike; pushing for government to increase their salaries, provide them with transport means, housing allowance, medical insurance and an increment on their operational fees.
Justice and Constitutional; Affairs Minister Hon Kahinda Otafiire this afternoon told reporters at the Uganda Media Canter that government has agreed to address all issues that prompted the strike.
“Government has agreed to provide judicial officers with security, vehicles, housing allowances and office equipment,” Otafiire said.
“At the same time, Cabinet has ordered the Ministry of Public Service to review emoluments of all public servants including judicial officers.”
Otafiire revealed that the issue of salaries will be reviewed across all sectors of government to ensure equity, sustainability and adequacy thus promising that by October this year, Ministry of Public service will have come up with a clear report on harmonization of salaries
“As government, we also want recognize the judiciary as an arm of government, through the enactment of Judicial Administration Bill which is still in cabinet and very soon will be tabled before parliament,” he added.
It’s on this basis that the minister called upon all judges and magistrates currently on strike to return to work, now that since government has committed to work upon their problems
Recently the president of UJOA Godfrey Kaweesa revealed that being that the resolution to strike was reached upon by participation of all members, calling it off it will require summoning of another extraordinary meeting where members will decide on either to continue or suspend the strike.
It should be recalled that although the strike has been on, some judges of the High Court have been conducting their work, which some members of the Uganda Judicial Officers Association have been looking at as betrayal.