Parliament has passed the Administration of Judiciary Bill into law, allowing the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice to retire with all the benefits they earn while in active service.
This is one of the amendments that adopted as the Bill went through the final parliamentary processes.
The Chief Opposition Whip also Kira Municipality MP, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda moved the proposal that will also see other judicial officers notably, justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the Principal Judge, Judges of the High court and magistrates go into retirement with 80 percent of the benefits they get when in active service.
The Chief Justice and deputy will also be entitled to a monthly retirement benefit equivalent to the salary payable to a sitting Chief Justice for life in addition to a one-off lump sum retirement benefit equivalent to 2.4 percent of their annual salary multiplied by five years of service.
Currently, the Chief Justice earns a monthly salary of Shs 20.6 million while the Deputy Chief Justice earns Shs 19.5 million.
The proposal was approved by parliament despite an objection from West Budama North MP Richard Othieno who questioned the rationale for paying the same salary to a retired judicial officer when the country is still struggling to appoint enough judges.
Bukooli Central MP Solomon Silwany had also argued that payment of the same salary to a retired Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice would demotivate those in active service.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ephraim Kamuntu said that the payments to judicial officers during retirement are to ensure that the active officers serve with diligence and confidence not to be compromised.
On more than three occasions, Parliament last year failed to consider the Bill after the government disagreed with the committee report in regard to the retirement benefits of judicial officers. The government then sought more time to harmonize with legislators outside the floor of parliament.
Government had proposed that retiring judicial officers leave with their full benefits in addition to wages given to their spouses and children something that was strongly opposed by legislators.