3 July 2012

Uganda: Chief Justice Odoki Vows to Eliminate Corruption

The judiciary is set to lead the fight against corruption in government in a bid to fast-track development in Uganda, the Chief Justice Benjamin Joseph Odoki has said.

Odoki pledged to task the anti-corruption court with the duty of routing corruption out of public offices, saying the court was deliberately formed to eliminate the vice in public service.

"The law must take precedence against those who embezzle public funds. The stage of justice will be objectively and fairly used against such persons," Odoki said.

He said he has made several reforms within the judiciary such as increasing the number of judges to speed up handling of corruption cases.

Odoki made the remarks during his installation as the Goodwill Ambassador for Always Be Tolerant Organization (ABETO) at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) gardens in Kampala.

Odoki is the first individual to become the Goodwill Ambassador of ABETO.

He is expected to use his positions as Chief Justice and chairperson of Council of Chief Justices in Africa to promote the organization's core values of peace and unity.

The chairperson of ABETO, Moses Musana said the organization appointed Odoki to the position because of his high level of integrity and his contribution towards building peace in Uganda and Africa.

"He has been working tirelessly for many years to maintain peace in Uganda using the judiciary. The peace in the country today should partly be attributed to him." Musana hailed Odoki.

Odoki was flanked by the third deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali, minister of information and national guidance Mary Karooro Okurut and Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) spokesman, Felix Kulaigye.

In his acceptance speech, Odoki vowed to use his newly acquired position to instill values of tolerance, unity and respect for diversity of views in the Ugandan population, explaining that they are the cornerstones of building peace.

"Peace is an important value for a country that has seen her fair share of conflicts; it is the foundation for unity and justice. Now that there is peace, there is opportunity to grow," Odoki said.

ABETO is a non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 1996 aiming to promote tolerance in governance in Africa.

It has awarded several African leaders for promoting peace across the continent. Recipients of ABETO peace awards include former South African president Nelson Mandela, South Sudanese leader, Salva Kiir and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni.

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