Wakiso residents decry court delays

By Michael Odeng

Added 7th March 2017 01:52 PM

Delay of cases in courts of law is a result of failure by the victims to follow up their cases

80-year-old John Bosco Kakooza has spent 12 years in the courts of law looking for justice in his land case until recently when it was dismissed by Nakawa Chief Magistrate's court.

Kakooza narrated that he inherited his late father's land in the year 2000, but later unknown people came and started claiming its ownership although he had started building a house on it.

This, he said prompted him to report the case to local councillors of Wakiso district but all in vain.

He claims that Mamerito Mugerwa, the former Mayor of Kiira Division in Wakiso District threatened to shoot him with a gun if he does not leave the land and he reported the matter to Police and later lodged a case at Nakawa Chief Magistrate's court.

"Whenever I go to court, they tell me the magistrate is absent. It is now 12 years and my case has never been heard" he narrated. He added that he was even imprisoned for 3 months at Sentema Prison in Wakiso.

He aired his displeasure yesterday during the Judiciary open day held at the Chief Magistrate's Court based in Wakiso. The event was organized by the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJU).

The Chief Magistrate of Wakiso held the event to interact with the public and explain its services. The event also enables court officials and Justice for Law and Order Sector (JLOS) members to get feedback from public to improve administration of justice.

According to Wakiso Chief Magistrate Dorothy Lwanga, delay of cases in courts of law is a result of failure by the victims to follow up their cases.

"Even if you appear in court, you always have excuses, saying your lawyers are absent, prompting the magistrates to adjourn the case" she said.

She advised the claimants to always ask for default judgements, so that their cases are heard ex-parte (one party) and justice is administered.

She stated that case backlog has reduced in the magisterial area because magistrates try to meet their targets.

She said most cases reported at Wakiso Magistrates Court are land related with 250 cases followed by criminal cases which count for 203. Statistics further show that juvenile and domestics cases are few because most matters are sorted at Police.

Supreme Court Judge Esther Mayambala Kisaakye, warned parents against marrying off their minor children in a bid to accumulate wealth. 

"Marrying off young girls is still a big challenge in our country, especially in rural areas. Even when such cases are reported to the LCs and the Police it stops there. Let's wait for the young to clock 18 years and they decide for themselves" she advised. 

According to Kisaakye, court bailiffs destroy the image of the Judiciary because they misuse their powers.

"Court gives them the powers to arrest, but they sometimes wrongfully exercise it in a bid to get money or favours" she added.

Kisaakye advised judicial officers to adjudicate cases and pass rulings without delay and help people reconcile. 

She urged Wakiso residents to be vigilant, saying they are the best defenders of their rights.

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