The Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) has tasked Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment on the Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs com­mit­tee to ap­prove its bud­get to ac­quire new of­fice space.

The Com­mis­sion has listed in its 2017/​2018 bud­get about Ugx 1.7 bil­lion to pro­vide for of­fice space to house its reg­istry, which keeps key doc­u­ments for the Ju­di­ciary, as well as for of­fice space to ac­com­mo­date its nine com­mis­sion­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to JSC chair­man, Jus­tice Ben­jamin Kabi­ito, the com­mis­sion­ers are cur­rently housed in one room, which takes only two of them at a time.

Kabi­ito fur­ther said the cur­rent reg­istry is too small and stuffed, with no win­dows, which has in turn posed a grave health risk to the two staff mem­bers sta­tioned there.

Fur­ther­more, the reg­istry is un­able to store sev­eral sen­si­tive doc­u­ments from the courts of law, forc­ing the JSC ad­min­is­tra­tion to keep them in the cor­ri­dors.

Kabi­ito made the re­marks while giv­ing the MPs a tour of the JSC of­fices on Farm­ers House in Kam­pala.

Sev­eral leg­is­la­tors ex­pressed con­cern over the state of the of­fices, won­der­ing how gov­ern­ment has failed to pro­vide to an im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tion which plays a key role in the for­mu­la­tion of the third arm of gov­ern­ment.

Some of the of­fices had leak­ing ceil­ings, while oth­ers had no win­dows to pro­vide proper aer­a­tion for the staff.

Act­ing com­mit­tee chair­per­son and Kabera­maido County MP, Veron­ica Er­agu Bichetero promised that the com­mit­tee will fast track the Com­mis­sion’s re­quest and make rec­om­men­da­tions to Par­lia­ment.

The Com­mis­sion is among the least funded in­sti­tu­tions un­der the Jus­tice, Law and Or­der Sec­tor, yet it is tasked with the ap­point­ment of judges and other ju­di­cial of­fi­cers, as well as han­dling cases of in­dis­ci­pline among ju­di­cial of­fi­cers.