It surprises to see the Chief Justice coming out to tell the truth about his salary. Surely, it does not make good sense to see some executives of bodies statutory or otherwise, which have to do with Government delegated business getting so many millions of shillings a month while other important organs like justice get the equivalent to peanuts in comparison. It is true, for some reasons, there are so many distortions during the NRM time, one of which is salary paid to some top executives. This is a big anomaly that needs to be seriously addressed. We have the manpower capable of fixing salaries in which case the Presidency should opt out of the salary business. I remember Mrs Musisi the Chief at Kampala City Council Authority quoted to have said that the President had asked her to determine the salary she thought was fit! This is an anomaly and it was at a time when Mrs Musisi said tht she had wanted to retire from Government business.
CHIEF JUSTICE ODOKI WANTS SHS 50M SALARY
By ANTHONY WESAKA
Posted Tuesday, January 10 2012 at 00:00
Justice Odoki asks for Shs50 million monthly pay
Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki yesterday joined a growing line of government workers pushing for a pay raise, saying his monthly pay should be fixed at Shs50m from the current Shs5m. Mr Odoki said Shs50m is the more befitting salary for a holder of his office.
The country’s top judicial officer defended his proposal, referring to himself as the “highest professional” in the country. Mr Odoki cited the relatively higher pay of Shs43 million earned by Ms Jennifer Musisi, the Kampala Capital City Authority executive director, to further justify his proposal.
Ms Musisi’s pay is often referred to by teachers and doctors, whose long-drawn out lobbying for salary reviews continues to be hampered by the government’s insistence that it does not have the money.
“The Chief Justice is the highest professional in the country and I deserve a monthly salary of Shs50 million,” said Mr Odoki. “The Shs5 million I currently get is just pocket money for a lawyer,” he said while revealing that plans are also underway to achieve salary raise for judges who currently earn Shs4 million a month.
The Chief Justice, who has held this position for 12 years, also said since judicial officers are barred from running any kind of business to supplement their official income, they deserve high pay.
Mr Odoki raised the salary matter before journalists shortly after he had addressed the 14th annual judges’ conference in Kampala yesterday. The Chief Justice was reacting to questions about corruption which has been reported to be rife in the Judiciary he heads. Uganda’s Judiciary was ranked among the most corrupt institutions last year by IGG.
The Chief Justice’s push for a pay rise comes amidst massive disparities in the public sector pay. It also may resurrect the proposal to have a commission review remuneration for civil servants.
This paper’s investigations have shown that the lack of an independent body to set and rationalise public service pay has contributed to inequalities in salaries paid to especially senior government employees.
The disparities are particularly pronounced in comparison to what is paid to civil servants directly recruited through the Public Service Commission, who get relatively low salary, while those employed by statutory bodies like KCCA, URA and National Water and Sewerage Corporation get higher pay.
Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, who officially opened the four-day conference, appealed to Judiciary leaders to address the issues that have tarnished the image of the institution.
Mr Ssekandi said the government is fully committed to improving service delivery in the Judiciary and is gradually addressing their major challenges such as inadequate manpower, remuneration and constructing more court buildings.
This year’s conference which has attracted more than 50 judges of the superior courts, is running under the theme “Managing Judicial Productivity”.
The conference will review last year’s performance before setting plans for this year. High on the agenda is review of the Judicial Integrity Opinion report which according to the programme will be released on Thursday by Supreme Court Justice Jotham Tumwesigye.