By Mulengera Reporters
Notwithstanding what critics like Tamale Mirundi like saying about him, Robert Kabushenga has generally been an effective corporate leader at Vision Group whose business ideas have made money for the company and most importantly built confidence of those serving under him.
One of the many ideas he recently sanctioned was the acceptance by the Vision Group to be facilitated by DGF (to the tune of over Shs1.3bn) to conduct public hearings meant to enable the hitherto voiceless members of the community to air out their service-delivery related frustrations, concerns and complaints.
Judiciary, Police and NIRA (which inevitably serve so many people) are some of the entities that have suffered a great deal but gratefully, Kabushenga ensured the targeted/perceived rotten institutions were adequately represented each time there is a televised public hearing courtesy of Bukedde TV. The idea was to force the heads of these institutions to take remedial actions and thereby strengthening service deliver which in return strengthens the ruling NRM ahead of 2021 general elections.
Whereas the leadership of Police and NIRA took things personal and reacted by being defensive, Katurebe took the ongoing negative portrayal of his courts with grace and that is the man from Bunyaruguru; ever courteous and taking such criticism as well intentioned and as an opportunity to improve.
Katurebe’s first reaction to the highly critical reports the Vision Group aired came on Tuesday 9th July when he publicly thanked the media house for aiding his efforts to stamp out graft in the Judiciary. He also interfaced with senior editors and thanked them for the boldness but cautioned against sensationalism. He promised more action once he had adequately studied the situation.
Katurebe has eventually walked the talk by appointing a six-member taskforce to verify some of the dirt Vision Group barazas have exposed so far and report back in 60 days. They have up to 30th September to give him a report corroborating the Vision Group findings and guiding on the appropriate steps to take to remedy the situation and serve the public better.
The team is headed by Inspector of Courts Immaculate Busingye who some say should be the most indicted by the VG project because the things they exposed are what her office exists to primarily deal with in the first place. Other members are Registrars Vincent Mugabo, Suzan Abinyo, UJOA President Godfrey Kaweesa, Assistant Registrar Ayebare Tumwebaze and Senior Communications Officer Solomon Muyita. A media release from the Judiciary shows should there be need, CJ Katurebe is more than prepared to enlarge the time to enable the team comprehensively do their job.
WILL THEY MANAGE?
But there are skepticisms by those who claim to know the extent of rot in the Judiciary as to whether this effort by Katurebe will be sufficient to produce a better efficient Judiciary. One such source, claiming to be privy to a report intelligence recently compiled for the President, said Judicial corruption had become too sophisticated there will have to be very comprehensive steps to rout it out. “The guys have become very sophisticated you need to equally be sophisticated to effectively catch them,” said the source.
“They have resorted to using very sophisticated methods of soliciting and receiving gratification including picking it in form of fuel from petrol stations in the suburbs. For some it’s dropped in the super markets and you just see someone walking straight to what you think is an empty basket kumbe they are picking as instructed. Some even permit rich litigants to write their own judgments. For some a fictitious bank account is opened, money deposited and an ATM is passed on. One will go withdrawing cash from an ATM on an account registered in someone else’s name. All they have to know is the pin number. You withdraw it from an account operated by the briber and return the ATM after withdrawing or the account is abandoned once the money has been received by the intended judicial officer. It has gone too far; some use phones registered in the names of their maids and shamba boys to receive money via mobile money and there are no traces.”
Such skeptics say whereas CJ Katurebe’s establishment of the taskforce is good public relations, it will take much more robust steps to stamp out corruption among judicial officers. (For comments, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).