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COURT CLERKS, JUDICIARY DRIVERS TO WORK IN UNIFORMS

By Mulengera Reporter

The Judiciary’s efforts to continuously improve its public image and curb the vice of corruption are in full swing and one of the measures is providing uniforms for all its support staff.

The move will, for the start, have at least 550 support staff (450 Court Clerks and 100 drivers) provided with corporate shirts and t-shirts, complete with their full names and job titles, according to the Judiciary Principal Communications Officer, Mr. Solomon Muyita.

The development comes against recommendations in the 2020 Judiciary Anti-Corruption Task force Report, which emphasized staff uniforms for all support staff. This, the Report stressed, would ease staff identification in their respective courts and minimize the vice of corruption.

An April 9, 2021 circular to all staff issued by the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary, Mr. Pius Bigirimana, announced that the uniforms would be procured in a phased manner. “Management has procured the second batch of uniforms for all Court Clerks countrywide. The first batch, early this year, catered for drivers,” the circular reads in part.

Mr. Bigirimana said the move was part of the robust efforts to fight against corruption in the institution and many others implemented before. Judiciary’s Chief Registrar, Ms. Sarah Langa Siu, said “with our court staff properly uniformed, it will be effortless to identify and deal with the crooks that have been impersonating court officials at some of the courts and extorting money from the unsuspecting litigants.”

Court clerks perform clerical duties in court, prepare the docket of cases to be called, secure information for judicial officers and contact witnesses, advocates and litigants to obtain information for court. Each of the benefitting court staff received three sets of uniforms, which they are expected to wear at all times while on duty. The phased provision of uniform will see all the 2,000 administrative support staff properly identified.

The other anti-corruption measures

Staff IDs: Wearing of identity cards with branded lanyards is now compulsory for Judiciary/Court staff for purposes of easy identification of who you are dealing with. Anyone without a visible ID is not authorized to transact for the Courts/Judiciary.

Customer Hotlines: The Judiciary set up a Call Centre where members of the public can call toll-free on 0800-111-900/0800-225-587 and raise concerns on maladministration of justice against court staff, among other things. The Inspectorate of Courts properly investigates the complaints raised, and appropriate action is taken.

CCTV Cameras: There is a phased installation of CCTV Cameras at strategic locations of courts (especially at Registries, corners and corridors) to promote transparency in operations and capture all happenings at court premises.

Disciplining errant staff: Over the years, the various disciplinary organs have imposed sanctions such as dismissal, reprimand, interdiction, suspension or criminal prosecution, imposed on both Judicial and Non-Judicial Staff over professional misconduct.

Information Desks: The setup of front information desks at different courts continues. These desks are manned by professional customer care staff to guide court users about their cases and related court operations and identifying official personnel at Court.

No-Cash Policy: No Judiciary staff can receive payments for Court Filing Fees, Fines and Bail Deposits. All payments for court services are made through Commercial Banks and E-Payment methods such as Mobile-Money and POS Machines. Official receipts are issued upon payment confirmation. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

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