MASERU — Acting Chief Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi has sworn in a new judge, Justice Dan Akiiki-Kiiza, to preside over corruption cases.
Justice Akiiki-Kiiza, who was seconded by the Commonwealth, will start work tomorrow.
Justice Akiiki-Kiiza, a Ugandan national, will serve Lesotho for eight months.
Justice Monaphathi told the media that the arrival of Justice Akiiki-Kiiza on the Lesotho bench followed a request Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla submitted to the Commonwealth for a judge with expertise in handling corruption cases.
Justice Monaphathi indicated that although Lesotho had requested a judge for a two-year period, the Commonwealth could only provide him for eight months.
“He will be understudied by another judge because he has expertise in cases involving fraud and corruption cases,” Justice Monaphathi said.
Justice Monaphathi said it is an open secret that people in authority in this country are involved in corruption.
He said since Basotho are inter-related such cases should be handled by a judge from outside the country.
The acting chief justice said there have been some delays in dealing with most criminal cases.
The judge said there was need to improve the system so that it functions properly.
He added that there was also need to motivate staff by improving their salaries and working conditions.
Justice Monaphathi conceded that in some cases judges had delayed delivering judgments adding that even legal practitioners had also contributed to the delay.
“We accept that cases and judgments get delayed,” he said.
He said the shortage of judges was another contributing factor to the problems in the judiciary.
Presently the High Court has 10 judges a figure Justice Monapathi said should be increased to 15.
He said the government had promised to appoint two more judges.
Justice Kiiza was in June 1950. He is married and has seven children.
He holds a Bachelor of Law degree and a post-graduate diploma in legal practice.
Since 1998 he has served as a judge of the High Court of Uganda. Between September 2004 and September 2006 Justice Kiiza served as a Commonwealth judge for criminal cases in Sierra Leone.
He also served as the Inspector of Courts at the High Court in Kampala from December 1992 to 1993.
He became a substantive Chief Magistrate in 1992-1993 and a Senior Magistrate Grade 1 in 1989-1992.
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