By Abraham Kizza
The Judiciary has dismissed reports that the late Deputy Chief Justice Emeritus Laetitia Mukasa Kikonyogo died before receiving her full retirement benefits.
Solomon Muyita, Judiciary’s Senior Communications Officer in a statement said that the stories which were attributed to a speech by the Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, during the Wednesday (November 29) Special Event organised at the High Court grounds in Kampala to pay tribute and respects to the late Kikonyogo were false.
“The Judiciary notes that the media reports misrepresented facts about payments of retirement benefits to Justice Kikonyogo and quoted the Chief Justice out of context,” said Muyita in the statement.
Some media outlets reported that late Kikonyogo died before receiving her full retirement benefits.
According to Muyita, records in the Judiciary indicate that the late Justice Kikonyogo received her payments for a vehicle and housing; and is also one of the Judiciary pensioners who have been promptly receiving their monthly pension payments.
Muyita also said that the Chief Justice in his speech on Wednesday alluded to a September 2015 pledge by President Yoweri Museveni during his meeting with all judges at State House Entebbe that judicial officers should retire with 100 percent benefits.
He added that the CJ said the president was personally concerned that “judges work so hard for a long time and do not engage in businesses and any other activities like other people, but lack adequate attention when they retire. He (president) gave an example of Lady Justice Kikonyogo, who he said worked for so long, serving this country, but was in a wheel chair then, without much attention from the state.
It is sad that Justice Kikonyogo died before the President’s promise for judges to retire with full benefits has not been realized,” the Chief Justice said on Wednesday.
Muyita also revealed that it was agreed in the State House meeting that the issue of judges’ retirement benefits should be fixed in the Administration of the Judiciary Bill which is yet to be tabled in Parliament.
“The Judiciary understands that tabling of the Bill has been partly delayed by the failure by the Ministry of Finance to issue a Certificate of Financial Implication to confirm that government will be in position to pay retirement benefits to judicial officers when they retire.
“This is what the chief justice meant in his speech on Wednesday when he referred to Justice Kikonyogo having died without realizing the presidential promise about full retirement benefits,” Muyita clarified in the statement.
Justice Kikonyogo, 77, who retired in 2010, died on November 23, 2017 of heart complications and is due to be laid to rest in a state burial this Saturday at her ancestral home in Mityana district.