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Do not transfer our Magistrate, Amuru residents tell Chief Justice

Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe while visiting northern Uganda districts this week was asked not to tamper Amuru Magistrate. (PHOTO/File)

AMURU – The Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe and Principal Judge, Dr. Yorokamu Bamwine, spent Tuesday morning in Amuru District for engagement with court users in the area.

They were received by the Gulu Chief Magistrate, Francis Dawa Matenga, who oversees Amuru Magisterial Area and Magistrate Grade One, Susan Anyeko.

The residents commended the magistrate for her dedication to her work station and urged the Chief Justice to make her the “permanent magistrate” for the district.

The residents asked the court leadership not to transfer the magistrate because of the “great work that she performs” at the court.

HW Anyeko has been caretaking Amuru Court since October last year.

The advocates practising at the court described her and the other judicial officers who have worked at the court as heroes who self-sacrifice to ensure that the people in the district get justice.

They appealed that the court be faclitated to ensure that it operates daily (currently operates Tuesday and Thursday since the Magistrate also operates at Nwoya court).

They equally asked for a resident magistrate saying all the magistrates they have had have deployed at the court have all been on part-time basis.

They thanked the Chief Justice for being the first office bearer to visit the court. “This day is historic that the Chief Justice is here…we are really humbled by your presence.”

The residents explained to the Chief Justice that land disputes are the cause of most criminal cases in the area.

One of the local leaders asked the court to always consult local leaders before making decisions, especially in land matters.

The Principal Judge clarified that the law does not provide for the involvement of traditional leaders in court processes. “Matters can only start in the LC Courts and they can come to our courts later. Traditional leaders can only come to court as witnesses if they have evidence,” he said.

He urged the people of Amuru to live on the hope of a better Judiciary because they will get it.

The Principal Judge equally highlighted the different access to justice initiatives put in place by the Judiciary such as Plea Bargaining, Small Claims Procedure and Mediation.

He also clarified that transfers are inevitable in the Judiciary adding that they are carried out to enhance access to justice.

The Chief Justice on his part thanked the court users of Amuru for appreciating the judicial officers posted there. “It is pleasing when you come and people say they are pleased with the services offered…Elsewhere I’ve been, people have been complaining of corruption, late coming and all sorts of issues,” said the Chief Justice.

The Resident District Commissioner, Ms Agnes Babalinda re-echoed the sentiments expressed by the court users towards HW Anyeko adding that only people who love their jobs can work in Amuru.

Several Justice Law and Order institution representatives were in attendance.

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