Retired High Court Judge Mukiibi Defends Using Boda Bodas, Dismisses Critics

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Retired High Court Judge Moses Mukiibi has responded to critics questioning his lifestyle in retirement, including his use of boda bodas for transportation. The former head of the International Crimes Division of the High Court addressed the issue after a photo of him on a boda boda circulated on social media.

In a telephone interview with Daily Monitor on Friday, Judge Mukiibi stated, “Maybe someone found it funny for a former judge to sit on a boda boda and took advantage of that to humiliate me. I’m living my life in a way I determine myself and I have no complaints, so whatever I’m doing is also my own business.”

He explained that he occasionally uses a boda boda for trips to and from his garden and finds this mode of transport comfortable. “No one can determine for me how I should move or dress. I’m very happy with the way I go about my businesses and I am not complaining,” he added.

The viral photo showed Judge Mukiibi on a boda boda, carrying matooke and agricultural produce in a sack. Despite the attention, he remains unbothered by the public’s reaction.

Last week, a picture of the retired judge made rounds on various social media platforms, with the jurist seated on a boda boda, carrying matooke and some agricultural produce in a sack.  We have not obtained the right to publish the same picture.

The boda boda is the most popular means of transport in Kampala and other towns across the country. This is because they are the quickest way to get around the congested city of Kampala, especially during peak hours, and also operate 24 hours a day.

President Museveni in 2001 while heading for presidential nominations, jumped onto a boda boda in a bid to beat the 5 pm deadline to Kololo Airstrip.

The head of State had kept mute on why he rode on a taxi cycle for 18 years before publicly coming out to explain that he needed to beat the nomination deadline amid the huge crowds of his supporters.

Before breaking the silence, the public thought the President had jumped onto the boda as a way of pulling a populist stunt and to identify with the boda boda riders for their support in the polls.

Flipping the coin, boda bodas have contributed to the most accidents in the country. 

According to the Police’s 2023 Annual Crime report, 37,449 vehicles were involved in road crashes, with motorcycles recording the highest number at 13,386, followed by motor cars (10,398) and light omnibuses with 2,663.

Further in the same interview, the judge dismissed social media reports that the Judiciary withdrew security and driver from him.

In one of the social media posts last week, it was claimed that the Judiciary withdrew Justice Mukiibi’s driver and security following his retirement on May 9, 2019, yet he needs to fend for himself.

“I have no complaints at all, I’m ok and very comfortable,”  he added.

Justice Mukiibi said if at all he had issues with the Judiciary, he knew the right procedures for seeking justice in case of any complaint.

“Is that the way I work? If I wanted something I would go and address it in a normal way with a concerned office because I have the capacity of doing so,” he noted.

The Judge castigated people who are misusing social media platforms.

“Someone just took a picture of me when I was doing my routine work and nowadays people post with captions of their interest and whoever is affected reacts in one way or the other, like the Judiciary did,” he said.

  When pressed further to share what he is currently doing during his retirement, Justice Mukiibi declined, reiterating that “I am enjoying my life to the fullest”.

JUDICIARY’S RESPONSE

Last Wednesday, the Judiciary released a statement to clarify the welfare concerns of the judge and withdrawal of the driver and security, which it claims have been making rounds all over social media.

In the press statement, the Judiciary refuted the allegations and confirmed that all the benefits, including gratuity and ex-gratia (housing) Justice Mukiibi is entitled to, were paid and the continuous benefits including retirement benefits and medical allowances are still being paid to date.

On the issue of withdrawing a driver and security, the Judiciary explained that the retired judge opted to be paid money instead of a car so he could not be assigned a driver.

On security, the same was withdrawn “following the process, which was formally communicated to him,” the statement reads in part.

The Judiciary further revealed that Justice Mukiibi is entitled to a gratuity of more than Shs281m, as per the Pensions Act Cap 286,  a chauffeur-driven car or a one-off payment of a vehicle totalling Shs150m.

The Judiciary said in June 2020 when the Administration of the Judiciary Act, 2020, came into force, it provided for retirement benefits of the High Court under Schedule 5(B).

Accordingly, Justice Mukiibi is currently being paid a monthly retirement salary of Shs18m, which is the equivalent of 80 percent of the salary he used to earn while in active service, and a monthly medical allowance of Shs400,000.

Story Credit: Daily Monitor

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