Feature

Concerns of judges must be addressed

YESTERDAY, THE issue of poor working conditions and salaries of lower court and district court magistrates reared its ugly head again.

The judges, have time without number, complained about poor working conditions and meagre salaries and charged the government to do something about it. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be interested in the concerns of these judges.

Having had enough the judges have given the government some days’ ultimatum to improve their conditions of service or they would withdraw their services.

“We give notice of our intention to withdraw our services from March 21, 2018. The relevant notice period is deemed to have been given,’’ the judges said in a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President.

Their case is that, the government had refused to pay their new salaries as proposed by the Judicial Council in 2016 and approved by Parliament in the 2018 budget.

In a letter after their meeting with the Joint Judicial Council-Government Negotiating Team, the judges complained that “the government team has shown a marked unwillingness to resolve the salary issue of the lower bench, evidenced by its failure to produce the expected figures for 2018 salary levels.”

They are therefore demanding the immediate payment of their salaries as approved by Parliament in the 2018 budget, and all their outstanding allowances, such as fuel, rent and additional duty and book allowances.

The court and judges also want the government to address the challenges they face in the discharge of their duties including personal security, inadequate security in court premises and poor conditions of services.

Abusuafmonline wishes to add our voice to the call by our venerable judges on the government to immediately do something about the plight of the judges.

The current precarious situation of the lower and district court magistrates exposes them to temptation to be corrupt in their ruling for financial gains. We, thus, urge the government to look into their case with the urgency it disserves.

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