KAMPALA. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has started the new year a happier man with more bulging pockets following his monthly salary raise by government to Shs20m, an increment by nearly 100 per cent.
Before the pay raise, Chief Justice Katureebe was earning a monthly salary of Shs11.5m, a pay that was seen as paltry, given his high standing in society. The Chief Justice holds the fourth highest office in the country after the President, the Vice President and the Speaker of Parliament.
According to a circular dated January 21 and signed by Ms Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the permanent secretary in the Public Service ministry, the other officers whose pay have been increased include the deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma, the Head of Public Service, Mr John Mitala, the deputy head of Public Service and permanent secretaries.
All the indicated pay go up by almost 100 per cent, except that for the head of Public Service and his deputy, whose increments have been boosted by nearly 400 per cent.
Deputy Chief Justice Kavuma, who has been earning a monthly pay of Shs10.5m, will now pocket Shs18m, while the head of Public Service who previously earned Shs4.9m will now earn Shs17.6m, and his deputy who previously earned Shs4m, will now bag Shs15.5m, while permanent secretaries who were previously earning Shs3.7m will now get Shs15.4m.
Reacting to the pay raise of the selected civil servants, Chief Justice Katureebe said his prayer has always been that salary increment should be done across the board.
“My prayer is and will always be that all judicial officers must be considered for enhancement of salary,” CJ Katureebe said yesterday.
“I have already communicated to the concerned authorities,” he added.
Mr Francis Gimara, the president of the Uganda Law Society, welcomed the development, saying salary increment for judicial staff has been long overdue. He was, however, quick to say that the increase should be done across the board.
One of the judicial officers on a lower Bench, who preferred anonymity, expressed unhappiness for having not been considered for an increment.
Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, who was not aware of this development when contacted yesterday, will still earn the old salary of Shs10m, while Supreme Court justices will also stay on their old pay scale of Shs9.6m.
The Court of Appeal justice as well will still earn Shs9.3m and High Court judges will earn the old rate of Shs9m. A Chief Magistrate, according to the old structure, will continue earning a monthly pay of Shs3.5m while a Grade One magistrate who has just joined the service will continue earning a monthly salary of Shs1.4m. A court clerk earns Shs226,945 monthly. The last time government increased the pay for judicial officers was in 2013. The judicial officers’ salaries are not taxed like other civil servants.