By Felix Oketcho
Construction of the judiciary twin towers is expected to be completed by the end of June 2022, Judiciary Permanent Secretary-Pius Bigirimana has confirmed.
“We are working within the designated time framework with our project developers to ensure that they deliver by June. So far so good progress on our developers we are certain they will deliver work on time,” Bigirimana said in an exclusive interview.
Mr Bigirimana noted that the new buildings are designed in a way that they have judges’ chambers, courtrooms and beyond that, they will have health facilities like a gym, sauna, and aerobics rooms.
The Judiciary, one of the arms of government has been spending a third of its budget on rent arrears for Supreme Court and Court of Appeal yet this expenditure could have been avoided a couple of years ago by constructing permanent homes for the two Courts.
After his appointment as Secretary to the Judiciary/ Permanent Secretary (PS), Pius Bigirimana, hit the ground running when he found that the Judiciary already had plans but hadn’t procured a contractor. He started the process of procurement in September 2019.
Bigirimana held discussions with finance and mobilized funds which saw the project launched in December 2019. Excavation began in March 2020 and by May actual construction kicked off.
The launch was made by former Chief Justice Bart Katureebe who officiated at this historic ground-breaking ceremony for the long-awaited construction of the Supreme Court and Court of the Appeal buildings.
The construction of the seven-storey twin appellate courts buildings with two basement floor parking for 226 vehicles, would be executed by Seyani Brothers within 24 months at a cost of 63.9 billion paid for by the Government of Uganda.
Justice Katureebe, described the occasion as memorable saying that the project was part of a larger plan which aims at ensuring that the Judiciary is transformed.
At the new law year 2021, President Yoweri Museveni officiated the function but also took time to inspect the construction of Appellate Courts and later praised Bigirimana as a hardworking officer. This was consistent with a description he made on Bigirimana sometime ago when he described him as, “a pumpkin seed which germinates anywhere even in the worst environment.”
One year and 4 months after construction kicked off, the structure has reached the seventh floor (last floor) for Supreme Court and the 6th floor for the Court of Appeal as the contractor prepares for the final stage of finishing.