By Daniella Nalukenge
The newly appointed Secretary to the Judiciary, Mr. Pius Bigirimana, earlier on Wednesday officially took over the office.
While handing over the office in a ceremony witnessed by the Chief Justice at the Judiciary headquarters here in Kampala, the outgoing Secretary to the Judiciary, Mr. Kagole E. Kivumbi, said he was grateful that he had been replaced with a person of good character.
He said he had an opportunity of serving under Mr. Bigirimana in 2008 in the Office of the Prime Minister, where he served as Director of Information at the time, and received a lot of mentoring from him, and called upon the Judiciary to wholeheartedly welcome him.
Mr. Kagole, who joined the Judiciary in November 2016, boasted of being behind a number of reforms in the institution during his 30-month tenure.
He appreciated the Chief Justice for being “a good supervisor who always gave me a helping hand whenever needed”.
He also urged his successor to enlist the support of Judiciary’s Top Management for continuity, especially in the areas of: remuneration of judicial officers, enactment of the Administration of the Judiciary Bill, the commencement of the construction of the Appellate Courts, the implementation of the Electronic Court Case Management Information System (ECMIS), among others.
On his part, Mr. Bigirimana said he
has the experience for the job at hand, and that he is ready to serve and work with the team at the Judiciary and Government to further strengthen the institution to its stature as an arm of the State.
He said he would soon present a proposal to Government demonstrating how costly it it to underfund the Judiciary.
The new PS/SJ said his key focus areas would include the management of the Judiciary, having firm contracts in place for Judiciary employees, construction of courts, staff health promotion, promotion of accountability, among other things.
Justice Katureebe welcomed Mr. Bigirimana to the Judiciary, and called upon him to push any ongoing investigations on the Judiciary to be concluded as quickly as possible, to protect Judiciary’s image and to allow work in the institution to continue.
The Chief Justice pledged to always advise the new PS, especially in areas of making keen analysis of any information given to him to avoid making unnecessary mistakes that might affect the institution.
He also called upon him to not be overtaken by the constant criticism about the Judiciary over its weaknesses saying the Judiciary is strong.
He thanked the outgoing Permanent Secretary for the good work and all the improvement achieved during his term in office including officials getting their salaries in time, among others.
Among those who witnessed the handover were the Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo, Principal Judge, Dr Yorokamu Bamwine and Chief Registrar, Ms Esta Nambayo, as well as a cross-section of Judges, senior judicial officers and administrative staff.
Bigirimana is credited for implementing social development Programmes that have since elevated the Gender Ministry into one of the key players in national development.
Most prominent of these are the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP), Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) and Green Jobs among others.