New head of judiciary for Uganda

Following the retirement of Uganda’s chief justice, Bart Katureebe, the country’s judiciary has a new leadership team. The new Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice were announced by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. His official decision came as no surprise as the names had been openly known and discussed for some time before the official announcement. 

Judge Alfonse Owiny Dollo, who had been Deputy Chief Justice under the retired leader, now takes over as Chief Justice of Uganda. The new deputy to Justice Owiny Dollo is a member of the Supreme Court, Judge Richard Buteera.

The new Chief Justice has a number of major challenges facing him. These include the perception of corruption on the bench, a perception greatly increased by the recent US State Department announcement that two Ugandan judges were involved in serious bribery and corruption related to an adoption scam.

Two Ugandan judges, two attorneys, sanctioned by US state department over bribery, corruption & adoption scam

Two Ugandan judges and two attorneys have been named and sanctioned by the US State Department for their role in bribery and corruption related to an adoption scam. One of the two judges retired last year; the other is a sitting judge. A statement on behalf of the judiciary said that there had been awareness of these allegations for some time and that they were being investigated. However, there seems to be little doubt in the legal profession that the investigations will show the judges and the attorneys were involved as the US authorities claim.

Ugandans were shocked this week to hear that the US State Department had issued a statement implicating four local lawyers – two attorneys and two judges – in an international adoption scam.

Libel case fails: court finds election was at stake and media had ‘duty to publish’

Issues around elections continue to be heard by the courts. This time the case concerned a scandal that was brewing in 2002, about the malfunctioning IT system that was supposed to compile a national voters’ register for Uganda’s then pending election. Members of the consortium that seemed unable to sort out the register brought a defamation action against the publication that broke the story. But the court found the report was truthful and accurate and that the public needed to know the information as the success of the election was at stake.

Read judgment

A prominent businessman from Kampala and a company he founded have failed in their attempt to sue The East African newspaper over a 2002 article related to preparations for the then-pending Ugandan elections.


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