The Judicial Service Commission has postponed the recruitment process for Grade one Magistrates due to the challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to a statement issued by the Judicial Service Commission, the process which started way back in February 2021 with aptitude tests, shortlisting of Judicial staff from various levels was only left with shortlisting of Grade one Magistrates which has now been postponed to August 2021.
"Following the Directives of His Excellency the President issued on the 6th and 18th June 2021 over the prevention and mitigation of the spread of COVID-19, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has postponed the recruitment programme for the position of Magistrate Grade One till August 2021," reads the statement in part.
According to the Judicial Service Commission spokesperson, Maria Theresa Nabulya, they had declared 20 positions for Magistrate Grade Ones, but the number will increase following the recent appointment of 15 chief Magistrates who were formerly Grade Ones but were over the weekend promoted.
Nabulya adds that the lockdown imposed by the government affects everyone including those who would be the beneficiaries of the exercise as well as those supposed to conduct it.
On Sunday, the Judicial Service Commission which is led by Justice Benjamin Kabiito promoted 32 Judicial staff between Grade One Magistrates levels and Deputy Registrar levels.
Although the recruitment of Grade one Magistrates has been postponed, the postponement comes at the time when the process leading to the entire recruitment process of all Judicial officers is being challenged in court by city lawyer Male Mabirizi.
On February 1 2021, the Judicial Service Commission issued an external advert number one of 2021 in which it sought to fill positions of a Justice of Supreme Court, Justices of Appeal, High Court Judges, Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars, Chief Magistrates and Magistrates Grade One.
However, according to Mabirizi, the shortlisting was done contrary to universally known practices of shortlisting as there was use of secretive non-verifiable method that led to a piecemeal shortlisting based on nepotism and other corruption-related practices.
Mabirizi's case is fixed for hearing before Mukono High Court on June 25th, 2021.