News / Africa

Uganda Parliament to Review Justices Candidates

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
Peter Clottey
Uganda’s parliament plans to start work (today) Tuesday reviewing President Yoweri Museveni’s list of justices to fill vacant positions at the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

Medard Lubega Sseggona, a member of parliament, says only members of the legislative body’s Appointments Committee are allowed to be part of the vetting process.

“What is strange about this particular Appointments Committee is this committee does not present a report to the floor of parliament. In other words, while it acts for us, they do not report to us,” said Sseggona.

President Museveni presented his list of candidates to the speaker of parliament last week and the review process was designed to meet requirements set out in the constitution.      

The candidates include Lillian Tibatemwa, deputy vice chancellor in charge of academics at Makerere University, and Richard Buteera, the director of public prosecutions.

Critics have said they doubt parliament will thoroughly vet the candidates. They argue the process is little more than a public relations exercise meant to satisfy constitutional requirements. Sseggona agrees.

“All other committees of parliament make reports on particular issues placed before them by the speaker on the floor of parliament and we approve or disapprove or make amendments,” Sseggona said. “Now the strange thing with this particular committee is that we do not exercise that function.”  

He says there are calls to amend the rules of procedures that outline the work of the Appointment Committee.

“I must confess that the president and the presidency, as an institution in this country, remain unjustifiably strong, so much so that the executive hand extends into the legislature and this is quite unfortunate,” continued Sseggona. “The presidency extends to the legislature to the extent that some people have described as the rubber stamp parliament [and] that whenever the president wants his will done, it is indeed done.”

Sseggona called on citizens to put pressure on their representatives in parliament to ensure the nominees are thoroughly vetted.

“They must also play some part in terms of influencing their members of parliament, particularly those who sit on the Appointments Committee, in terms of bringing forth information that they think discredits somebody’s candidature,” he said. “Because we are dealing with a very volatile institution, and an institution that is supposed to be impartial, independent and neutral.”

Legal experts have expressed concern that there has been a shortage of judges in the judicial system. This was confirmed by Justice James Ogoola the head of Judicial Service Commission after he recently appeared before parliament’s Legal Affairs committee hearing.
Clottey interview with Medard Lubega Sseggona, Ugandan lawmaker
Clottey interview with Medard Lubega Sseggona, Ugandan lawmakeri
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs