A section of judicial officers are up in arms following last week’s enhancement of salaries for selected civil servants.
What is hurting the judicial officers most is that in the new salary structure dated January 12, permanent secretaries who are far below them in the ranks of the National Order of Precedence, will be taking home a much higher salary.
In the new salary structure, a permanent secretary who according to the National Order of Precedence is ranked number 26 will now be pocketing a monthly pay of Shs15.4 million and yet a High Court judge who is ranked number 16 will continue earning Shs9 million per month.
The same new salary structure saw the salary of Chief Justice Bart Katureebe increased by close to 100 per cent.
Justice Katureebe will now be pocketing a monthly pay of Shs20m up from Shs11.5m.
His deputy Steven Kavuma will now be earning a monthly pay of Shs18m up from Shs10.5m.
“Judicial officers are from the third arm of government. How can a permanent secretary who is ranked number 26 in precedence earn more than a High Court judge who is number 16 in precedence order..? one of the concerned judges who preferred to remain anonymous asked.
Another judge who also preferred to speak off record said the decision to have only the top two judicial officers considered for salary increment is not good for the Judiciary.
“The judges who do donkey work have been treated unfairly. Certainly it will affect the morale of all judicial officers. A permanent secretary now earns more than us.”
Speaking to NTV, a sister station to this newspaper last Friday, Mr Paul Gadenya, the Chief Registrar Courts of Judicature, said the discrimination may fuel corruption in the temple of justice.
However, Mr Gadenya was quick to say that the top Judiciary management had written to the relevant authorities to also consider enhancing their salaries.
The head of civil service, Mr John Mitala and his deputy also had their monthly salaries enhanced.
In the new salary structure, Mr Mitala will be earning a monthly salary of Shs17.6m up from Shs4.9m, which increment is about a whopping 400 per cent.
The deputy head of civil service will now be earning a monthly pay of Shs15.4m up from Shs3.7m.
In reacting to his increased pay, the Chief Justice said his prayer has always been that salary increment be done across all the levels of judicial officers.