The new Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege, has promised to clear the backlog of cases currently in the court system, saying that it would be his top priority during this tenure.
He made the pledge during a handover ceremony between him and the outgoing Chief Justice, Aloysea Cyanzaire, held at the Supreme Court yesterday.
According to the Chief Justice, there are about 30,000 cases pending, almost 5,000 of which are currently before the Supreme Court. He told The New Times that these cases had been accumulated since 2009 to date.
Rugege commended his predecessors’ efforts to reduce the 15-year backlog, noting that the former Chief Justice had overseen the transformation of the justice sector, instilling public trust and confidence in the courts.
Talking about his plans for his eight year tenure, the Chief Justice said: “I don’t have new programmes to put in place so far, I will continue from where she (Aloysea Cyanzaire) stopped by focusing on the clearing of accumulated cases, decentralizing judicial services, consolidating the gains made and delivering much more to the public”.
On her part, Cyanzaire sounded confident that the incoming Chief Justice would take the justice sector to another level, adding that he had partnered with her to transform the sector during her term of office. She called upon the staff to support the new Chief Justice in strengthening the institution.
Asked about her future plans, Aloysea Cyanzaire said: “I have just handed over, I cannot tell you now what I am going to do, but I am going to plan what to do next”.