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PJ Inspects Matugga, Kakiri, Wakiso Courts

"Ordinarily, these inspections are not a fault finding missions but mainly to understand the challenges you face while providing justice to the people," said the Principal Judge, Hon. Justice Dr Flavian Zeija, on Monday (August 3, 2020) as he inspected three more Courts.

The PJ together with Assistant Inspector of Courts/PRO, HW Jamson Karemani, started inspections at Matugga Magistrates Court, then Kakiri Magistrates Court and ended at Wakiso Chief Magistrates Court. 

Matugga Magistrates Court

At Matugga, the PJ held a meeting with Magistrate Grade One, HW Margaret Aanyu, who presented her status report.

The biggest challenge of the Court is space, which makes it difficult to implement social distancing in open court. There are no holding cells, exhibit store, archives or mediation room. The other challenges are unstable internet connectivity and there is inadequate security.

It was noted that Small Claims Procedure is yet to be launched there. 

On the issue of space,the PJ said all land in central Uganda is owned by the Kabaka and as such he was going to meet the Katikiiro for further discussions. He said it was important for SCP to be launched and popularized at different courts. 

Kakiri Magistrates Court

From Matugga, he headed to Kakiri where Magistrate Grade One, HW Moses Baligeya Mufumbiro,reported that he is supported by three clerical staff. 

The Court which is housed in a dilapidated building owned by Buganda Kingdom is comprised of two rooms and a court hall. One serves as a chamber for the magistrate while the other serves as a registry and store. HW Mufumbiro said although they had identified another rental building, there were no funds to pay for rent.

He added that they were forced to suspend court sittings on Monday because the compound of the court is transformed into an open market which they have no control over.

Just like in Matugga,there are no holding cells. Apart from two chairs, the rest of the furniture is for Buganda kingdom. There is equally no internet connectivity and the court has one old computer.

Wakiso Chief Magistrates Court

Wakiso CM Court, which oversees Kakiri and Nansana Magistrates' Courts, has three judicial officers(one CM and two Magistrate Grade Ones) and 16 support staff. 

The CM, HW Esther Nakadama Mubiru, said the Court has 1,488 pending cases of which 243 are backlog. Of these, 796 are criminal matters, 157 civil cases, 261 land cases,69 family cases and the rest are small claim matters.

Among the challenges noted were limited office space, exhibition room and holding cells. The Court has no internet connectivity as the installation works were abandoned mid-way.There is no waiting area for litigants or advocates.

The PJ asked the Court to look at erecting a permanent tent in the compound to serve as waiting area or as an alternative venue to handle Court.  He urged the Judicial Officers to explore ways of handling land disputes that have stayed in the court system for more than 10 years. 

Present at the meeting were Magistrate Grade One, HW Noah Ssajjabi, HW Esther Nyadoi and HW Aloysius Natwijuka - the new Magistrate for Nansana Court. The CM said although the Court was gazetted, it was not operational. 

She said as such, she will allocate him space and cases so that he can do some work. 

The PJ was taken on a guided tour of the premises where he equally interacted with staff.

Posted 3rd, August 2020
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