The Secretary to the Judiciary, who also doubles as the Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana has backed off Supreme Court Justice, Dr. Esther Kisaakye Mayambala.
Last month, the International Commission of Jurists accused Bigirimana of being discriminatory and biased against Justice Kisaakye and trying to block her from receiving her monthly salary and other benefits.
Bigirimana blocked Justice Kisaakye’s salary and benefits after accusing her of absconding from work without a clear explanation.
In his letter, Bigirimana warned, “It has been brought to my attention that since September 2021 when you returned from your medical leave, you have never reported to work nor sought leave grant from your supervisor.”
“This is a serious matter which I, as an accounting officer, has picked interest in. The purpose of this memo is humbly request you to show cause as to why we should not recover nine months’ salary that has been paid to you without working.”
In response, a furious Kisaakye rubbished Bigirimana’s accusation as baseless and advised him to read the laws to establish who is the supervisor of Supreme Court Justices because her supervisor knows very well why she is not working.
“I am totally surprised and amazed that a person entrusted with your responsibility ignored clear constitutional provisions and official records about my work, health and leave entitlements, all of which are readily available and accessible within your office, my supervisor’s office, office of the commission, human resource in the judiciary, the supreme court of Uganda and the medical board,” she said.
However, when contacted, Bigirimana said that he has reconciled with Justice Kisaakye after establishing that he is not her supervisor but a pay master.
He explained that Chief Justice Owiny Dollo, as the supervisor of the supreme Court is the one now responsible for Justice Kisaakye’s issues and everything will be resolved amicably.
He noted that he didn’t write his letter in bad faith as many people thought but he wanted accountability given that he is the accounting officer.
Justice Kisaakye’s trouble started during the 2021 presidential petition against president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni filed by NUP boss Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine.
Eight supreme Court Justices isolated Justice Kisaakye and refused to be with her when she was reading her dissenting ruling in an application seeking Justice Dollo to recuse himself from the petition over conflict of interest.
Bobi Wine was accusing Justice Dollo of having conflict of interest because before being appointed a judge in the judiciary, he was president Museveni’s lawyer and worked in his cabinet as a minister.
Justice Dollo declined to recuse himself insisting that he took a judicial oath to administer justice and was ready to do so.
Justice Kisaakye was referred the Judicial Service Commission for disciplinary action for failing to share her dissenting judgement in the election petition.