HOW M7 HAS PREPARED NEW JUDICIARY PS BIGIRIMANA TO SCORE WHERE OTHERS FAILED
By Mulengera Reporters
Pius Bigirimana is one hell of a PS some people speculatively say must have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In this Museveni governance era, characterized with scarcity of financial resources almost in all ministries and MDAs of government, the man from Kisoro seems to be one that is always followed by plenty wherever he gets posted by the appointing authority. OPM became so lucrative a docket during his time, many easily forgot it previously used to be a land of scarcity.
The President removed him from OPM to Gender following the Parliamentary acrimony that followed the Kazinda scandal which left many convinced it was time up for the seasoned technocrat from Kisoro. On arrival at Gender, Bigirimana used his magic (while leveraging on the political support of the President and First Lady) and within no time the Simbamanyo House-based Ministry quickly transformed from one of scarcity to plenty with politically-sensitive programs like YLP, UWEPI and others taking root and bringing in hundreds of billions.
Donors many thought resented Bigirimana too fell suit and reputable entities like UNDP followed him at Gender and poured in billions to fund initiatives like the graduate mentorship program which the ambitious PS innovated and came up with.
As Bigirimana plotted more surprises at Gender, the President considered the Judiciary (an institution for long considered under-funded) to be one MDA with dire leadership problems and dispatched his Bigirimana there-and within such a short time, the man characteristically hit the ground running and running in a very big way that will once again cause his adversaries to laugh at themselves. Firstly, he is determined to have the automation (basically computerization) of court processes (that his predecessors only discussed in board rooms for years) kick off and he already has the money.
At slightly more than Shs8bn, Bigirimana has already engaged service providers from Eastern Europe and by mid next year, court processes (like witness summons, examination, case filing and payment of relevant court fees) will all 100% be doable online, a thing that is expected to result into increased efficiencies while significantly diminishing corruption and bribe-solicitation by court employees. Bigirimana has lately been confiding in his proteges rightly bragging to them “many of these things only require decisive leadership more than money to have them done.”
Bigirimana, whose controversial Friday health runs are registering growing acceptance every passing day with many judges getting involved, also recently interfaced with the President and secured his support to have the long-awaited Judiciary administrative headquarters complex take off. Meant to be multi-storied, the gigantic structure is to be situated in the current High Court compound next to City Square but it has been a pipe dream for decades. One tower will house the Supreme Court headquarters and the other Court of Appeal.
With Museveni’s backing, Bigirimana is already aware that the required slightly more than Shs100bn for the construction will soon become available from the GoU in a phased manner-spreading the releases over a 5-year period. God willing, there will be ground breaking mid next year and this will become a source of pride for lawyers, judicial officers and other stakeholders besides saving the tax payer billions of shillings that is annually expended in rent payment.
Yet that isn’t all. The enactment of the Administration of the Judiciary Act, that has been a pipe-dream for decades, is finally taking off and the all-powerful Museveni seems comfortable letting this milestone happen at a time his blue-eyed boy Bigirimana is calling shots in the Judiciary.
Among other things, the new enactment will make the judiciary more autonomous in terms of financing, recruitment of staff and generally the way its administered and the way the attendant decisions are made. It will turn the Judiciary into something similar to the Parliamentary Commission whose operationalization is the reason Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is sometimes too powerful and complex for Museveni to control in ways State House bureaucrats and strategists would like to see.
According to Attorney General William Byaruhanga, Cabinet recently gave its nod of approval for the Bill and it will be formally presented to Parliament next week. Having it enacted and operationalized during his tenure as PS and therefore technical head of the Judiciary is something Museveni is proud will make his right hand man Bigirimana honorably remembered by Judiciary stakeholders for many generations to come because it will ideally make the entire delivery of Judiciary services more efficient and meaningful for the benefit of everyone. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).