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Ugandan Judges to Run Kilometres Every Friday for Fitness

Those who participated in the inaugural run included the Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija, Court of Appeal Justice Hellen Obura, High Court Judge David Matovu and Chief Registrar Sarah Langa Siu
The Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo flagging off the Judiciary Health Run on Friday.

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Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has asked judicial officers to participate in health activities for keeping them fit to avoid illnesses that are associated with sitting in offices for many hours such as back pain among others.

The Chief Justice made the call on Friday evening while flagging off a health run at the Judiciary Headquarters in Kampala which he noted that this will now become a weekly Friday fixture to ensure that all staff of the Judiciary are healthy and physically fit.

"We should explore the possibility of two days a week, it is for our health, as judicial officers, sitting  9 am to 5 am is not good for our health, the health run is a good opportunity",  said Owiny-Dollo.

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In some of the previous Judiciary functions,  many judicial officers complained publicly about sitting too long in courts which some said they would leave when their backs are paining and making them feel unwell and thus unable to execute their duties of dispensing justice effectively.

As a result,  the Judiciary Top Management had in its meeting of August 7, 2019,  resolved that mandatory physical fitness exercise be put in place thereby dedicating Friday afternoons for the Health run. 

The officers normally gather at the Judiciary Headquarters in their purple sports attires for some exercise from the court premises with someone leading them on how to stretch while other officials are often seen running in the Kampala streets in the company of both the support staff including the court clerks and their respective security detail.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary, Pius Bigirimana, encouraged the staff of the Judiciary to engage in the health run every Friday to help in their effectiveness at work. “Do it for fitness every Friday, it’s for your health,” he noted. 

Bigirimana equally used the platform to communicate that salaries had been paid and that payments for the consolidated allowances and operational funds had been processed. The Permanent Secretary also noted that the process to clear payments for Court sessions was underway.

He emphasized the need to observe Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures such as social distancing, sanitizing among others as a means to control the spread of the pandemic.

The  Run was attended by a cross-section of Judicial Officers who included the Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, Court of Appeal Justice, Hellen Obura and High Court Judge David Matovu and the Chief Registrar, Sarah Langa Siu 

Senior administrators including the Under Secretary, Maureen Kasande, Commissioners; Eng Dr Christopher Ebal and Apophia Tumwine among others participated. The run was mooted about two years ago but could not effectively take root due to the outbreak of COVID-19.