KAMPALA: The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja, is among 25 candidates who have applied for the three vacant positions for justices of the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court, Daily Monitor has learnt.
Last month, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), a government body charged with recruitment and disciplinary of judicial officers, advertised five positions for High Court judges and three for Court of Appeal.
Dr Rose Nassali Lukwago, the JSC secretary, said the recruitment is aimed at replacing judges who have either retired, died or moved to other careers.
The Court of Appeal position attracts a monthly salary of about Shs10m which is untaxed, medical cover, housing allowance, security at the judge’s residence, bodyguard and other allowances.
The other applicants are High Court judges Rugadya Atwooki, Henry Peter Adonyo, Henrietta Wolayo, Damalie Lwanga Nantudde, Henry Isabirye Kaweesa, Lawrence Gidudu, Elizabeth Jane Alividza, Margaret Tibulya, Winfred Nabisinde Nyondo, Jane Frances Kiggundu Byakutaga and Monica Mugenyi Kalyegira (the principal judge of the East African Court of Justice), David Batema, and Ms Agnes Nkonge Nabossa, a registrar.
Other candidates outside the Judiciary are former acting IGG Raphael Baku Obudra, retired High Court judge Billy Kainamura, Mr Denis Bireije Babyebuza, Mr Christopher Gashirabake (deputy solicitor general), Mr Karoli Ssemogerere (an advocate), Mr Kibeedi Muzamiru, Mr James Byabakama, Ms Josephine Ali Apili Ekwanga, Agasha Mugasha and Mr Kenneth Paul Omoding.
A source from the JSC, who spoke on condition of anonymity yesterday, said they sent out the shortlist to relevant bodies for their input about the candidates.
The source added that after this background check, the final shortlist will come out and successful applicants will be invited for interviews later this month.
A Judiciary that leaked to the media shows that tentative dates for interviews of judges for Court of Appeal positions have been set between May 20 and 24 while those for High Court applicants are set for June 4 to June 14.
“Your lordships, the Judicial Service Commission has set tentative dates for interfacing with the shortlisted candidates for the above posts as indicated. Applicants who may not be in the country during the stated period are kindly requested to inform the permanent secretary/secretary to Judiciary in writing by close of business on May 10, 2019 to enable timely communication to the JSC for it to plan accordingly,” the memo reads in part.
The JSC is expected to forward the successful candidates to President Museveni for nomination after the interviews. Thereafter, Parliament will vet them before they are sworn in.
The shortlisting of Justice Mulyagonja comes at a time when she is serving her second and final term as the ombudsman after her appointment in April 2012.
She has come under criticism by the President, who has since created a parallel anti-corruption agency, State House Anti-corruption Unit headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema.
Last evening, Justice Mulyagonja confirmed she applied for the Court of Appeal slot.
“What is wrong with applying for a Court of Appeal position? Judicial appointments take a long time to materialise yet my contract as IGG ends in the middle of next year. So I had to apply early and wait,” she said by telephone yesterday.
The other notable candidate on the shortlist is Justice Wolayo, who recently dismissed a case in which Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, was seeking compensation on account that police had unfairly stopped his musical shows.