CHIEF JUSTICE WARNS NATIONAL PLANNING AUTHORITY OVER ATTEMPT TO PUT THEM UNDER OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

By Goodluck Musinguzi

Pamela Mbabazi, Chairperson National Planning Authority Board was opposed by Chief Justice and Judiciary Top Brass for attempting to propose that they be placed under the Office of the President in terms of planning.

Pamela Mbabazi and Pius Bigirimana disagree on independence of Judiciary in terms of planning and budgeting

In response, the Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo pointed out that it would be unconstitutional to place the Judiciary under the Office of the President yet it is an arm of Government supposed to enjoy it’s independence in terms of planning and budgeting.

The protest happened at a high level budgeting and planning meeting that was held on Thursday at the Judiciary headquarters where the National Planning Authority (NPA) shared its plan for Justice Law and Order Sector institutions.

The National Planning Authority, who were at the invite of the Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo, shared the programmatic approach to planning, which they said is aimed at moving from Institutional Sector target, to the National Development Plan III (NDPIII) on delivery of common results within a specified timeframe.

In her presentation, the NPA Board Chairperson, Prof Pamela K. Mbabazi, unveiled part of the changes in the budgeting cycle for JLOS institutions. She said the Judiciary and the other JLOS stakeholders will fall under Human Capital Development, Governance and Security Program.

Pamela Mbabazi raising her hands over head to explain a point to the Chief Justice and Team. They rejected her plans to place Judiciary under office of the President which is a constitutional matter

“This arrangement places the Judiciary under the Office of the President, which has been designed as the lead Ministry for Governance,” she said.

In response, the Chief Justice pointed out that it would be unconstitutional to place the Judiciary under the Office of the President yet it is an arm of Government supposed to enjoy it’s independence in terms of planning and budgeting.

Pius Bigirima Permanent Secretary explains to the Chief Justice in the middle and his deputy to the left the danger of surrendering their independence.

Justice Benjamin Kabiito, the Chairperson Judicial Service Commission added that denying institutions their votes as is the practice undermines the provisions made under the Constitution.

The Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Judiciary, Mr Pius Bigirimana advocated for meetings with different stakeholders, so that the Judiciary can be heard as an independent sector aligned to the Programmatic Approach of NPA.

According to NPA, the new Approach aims at strengthening alignment of planning and budgeting frameworks which will provide a logical framework for keeping in place the Programme Based Budgeting System, and a coordinated framework for improving service delivery.

The participants at the meet who included Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija Chief Registrar, Sarah Langa Siu, Permanent Secretary/Secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana,  and heads of different JLOS institutions, protested the planned move by NPA.

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