A clique of judicial officers has started a clandestine plan to fail the recently introduced electronic system aimed at improving efficiency, eliminating case backlog and fight corruption.
In a bid to foster innovation in Uganda’s court system and also improving Court operations, judiciary invested $2.5 million in Electronic Court Case Management Information System (ECMIS) last month.
The new tech system is expected to put to an end the ever increasing corruption and case backlogs within the judiciary.
The Secretary to the Judiciary, (Permanent Secretary) Mr. Pius Bigirimana who spearheaded the launch of this E-Justice system explained that, the innovation will begin with 19 courts in Kampala and Wakiso and after 2 years, all courts across the country will be covered.
The system works 24 hours, unlike the filing of hard copies which can only be done during hours.
According to sources with in the judiciary, judicial officers who will be affected by this new system have devised means to fail it by claiming Permanent Secretary (PS) Mr. Pius Bigirimana- who is behind the introduction of the system- is in office illegally.
On Saturday 19 October Bigirimana, led a team comprising of Ms. Julian Mani Rweju and Mr. Kikabi David Sunday to Yerevan, Armenia to attend a training workshop as a kick-off of the Project Inception Phase.
On realizing that their underhand methods of soliciting for money through bribes were to be affected, Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA) have petitioned court seeking a declaration that the appointment of PS Bigirimana is illegal.
They claim the appointment of Bigirimana by the president to implement policies of government in the judiciary jeopardises it (Judiciary) independence.
However, this website understands this is just being used as a scapegoat to see Bigirimana leave the Judiciary.
“They are definitely scared and worried of the ECMIS. The E-system eliminates any loopholes in the judicial system. And the judicial officials know this system will fail their calendestine work methods,” a sourcein the judicially told us.
The source adds: “This system is like a website, you log into the functions which you want to use. It is done online, whether at home or anywhere in your office, you can lodge your complaint, and you can also be able to know which Judge is handling which case. The rulings will also be done online.”
The source added that the E- system will end the paperwork in court which has been a breeding ground for corruption since the ECMIS automates and tracks all aspects of a case life cycle from the initial stage through disposition and appeal.
The system is being manned by an American firm Synergy International Incorporated and Sybyl Limited which wields a rich experience having developed same systems in US, Europe and Africa.
On the 16th September, 2019, the Judiciary of Uganda signed a Contract with M/S Synergy International System and M/S. Sybyl Limited (Joint Venture) for the Design, Development, Deployment and Maintenance of an Electronic Court Case Management Information System (ECMIS).
ECMIS will be a fully-featured system which automates and tracks all aspects of a case life cycle from initial filing through disposition and appeal as to each individual party for any case type.
This means it requires minimal human intervention.
It also enables to facilitate the efficient and reliable collection, organization, distribution and retrieval of significant amounts of case specific data as well as the processing of payment of relevant court fees and fines by the Citizens.
It will also be able to generate reports from system for decision making and create a more efficient and effective process of resolving the cases in courts.
“ECMIS will without a doubt help in case management techniques which enhance record-keeping and reduce delays and case backlogs by automating and standardizing manual procedures,” an expert said.
It will also help in the fight against corruption since it will reduce human-to-human interaction and thereby making it un-attractive to engage in corrupt tendencies.
It will also help in automated workflow processes guide users through their daily activities and notify users of pending actions, improving overall efficiency and cost savings.