President Yoweri Museveni has named 28 new judges to fill vacant positions in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court.
The appointments are subject to parliamentary approval and the names have been forwarded to the Speaker of Parliament for vetting, according to sources.
The surprise appointments to the Court of Appeal include the Director of Public Prosecution, Richard Butera, Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa and Kenneth Kakuru. Prof. Tibatemwa is the Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of academics while Kakuru is a prominent human rights lawyer.
Court of Appeal Justices Amos Twinomujuni and Arach Amoko have been appointed justices of the Supreme Court. Justice Egonda Ntende has bounced back as justice of the Court of Appeal after serving as Chief Justice of the Republic of Seychelles since 2009.
Also named on the Court of Appeal is Justice Solomy Bbosa who has just returned from Arusha, Tanzania where she was seconded to serve on the International Tribunal for Rwanda trying Rwandan genocide suspects.
Others promoted to the Court of Appeal are Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire. Justice Opio Aweri, Justice Faith Mwondha and Justice Eldard Mwangusya. They have been serving as High Court judges.
The deputy DPP, Damalie Nantudde Lwanga, was also named High Court judge, which left the office vacant. The President named several lawyers and court registrars to the High Court. They include Henry Peter Adonyo, Margaret Tibulya, Elizabeth Jane Alividza, Godfrey Namundi, Henrietta Wolayo, John Eudes Keitirima, and David Batema.
Others are Kaweesa Isabirye, Elizabeth Kibula Kabanda, Damalie Nantudde Lwanga, Lydia Mugambe, Duncan Gaswaga, Vincent Okwanga, Alexandra Rugadya Nkonge, Dr. Winfred Nabisinde, Eva Luswata Kawuma and Michael Elubu.
The Judiciary has been grappling with the problem of shortage of judges. Retired Principal Judge James Ogoola, who is also the chairman Judicial Service Commission, recently said that under the Constitution, the Supreme Court should have 11 judges. The appointment of two justices to the Supreme Court still leaves it incomplete. There are several Constitutional Court cases still pending in the Supreme Court due to the fact that it is not fully-constituted