Judiciary interdicts driver who complained about low pay

If convicted, Kisambira will face a fine not exceeding 750 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding seven years, or both.

Stanley Kisambira

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Judiciary Permanent Secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana has interdicted one Stanley Kisambira, the judiciary driver who recently complained about low salary over misconduct.

According to a letter dated May, 25 copied to the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, the Principal Judge and Chief Registrar, Kisambira will cease to exercise functions as a driver attached to the Judiciary and should immediately hand over everything.

“In accordance with regulation 38(1) (b) of the Public Service Commission Regulations 2009 and section F-s para 17 of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2021, you are hereby interdicted from exercising your function as a driver with immediate effect,” Bigirimana wrote in the letter.

“You will not leave the country without express authority from the Permanent Secretary,” he added.

Additionally, Kisambira will during his interdiction period receive half-pay of his monthly salary and won’t be allowed near his duty station (Mbale High Court) including all other courts without prior written permission from the Permanent Secretary.

Kisambira’s woes started when he recorded an audio clip expressing his dissatisfaction about his low salary went viral on social media. In the audio recording, the disgruntled driver threatened to cause harm to his principal Justice Godfrey Namundi who is a judge in Mbale District saying the Shs235,000 monthly salary was not enough to cater for his family’s needs.

In response to the viral clip, Judiciary PS, Pius Bigirimana, said he would not risk the lives of the judicial officers in the hands of what he described as liars like Kisambira. Bigirimana noted that Kisambira receives approximately Shs1.3 million per month in addition to the known Shs235, 000 salary.

“This driver lied. He receives Shs200, 000 as operation funds, he gets a salary of Shs237,000 and also receives a consolidated allowance of Shs720,000 every three months. Shs1.125m is given to him every quarter as consolidated welfare money. This means that in total, Kisambira gets around Shs1.35 million but then he goes around telling lies,” Mr Bigirimana said, adding; “I have written to him to show causes to why disciplinary action must not be taken against him.”

The driver was first arrested last week and detained at CPS in Kampala before he was, days later, released on police bond and then rearrested this week on Monday when he had gone to report himself at the same police station.

Prosecution told court on Monday that Kisambira’s action in the viral audio clip was likely to promote hostility against judges in the Judiciary, in that judges’ salaries are unfairly over and above those of their drivers and that a driver can decide to cause road accidents by ramming into a moving truck thereby, killing the judges and their bodyguards.

If convicted, Kisambira will face a fine not exceeding 750 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding seven years, or both.

One currency point currently is equal to shs20,000 and 750 currency points is equivalent to shs15 million.

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