KAMPALA – The Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe has commissioned the Rubirizi Justice Centre — an ultra-modern three in one complex that houses a courthouse, the Police as well as Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
The Complex which cost Shs1.9bn, in line with the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) mission of improving access to services by having frontline institutions located in close proximity, was constructed in 12 months.
While commissioning earlier on Tuesday, the Chief Justice expressed his happiness to see that finally, the people of Rubirizi can access justice easily within one complex. “Justice is not in these buildings but rather will be exercised by the people who will occupy them…these buildings should be used well,” he said.
He cautioned law enforcement officers against being high-handed when carrying out arrests, adding different JLOS institutions should execute duties in accordance with the law and their mandate.
The outgoing Rubirizi Magistrate Grade One, Michael Bossa, took the Chief Justice and his entourage comprised of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, Mbarara Resident Judge Tadeo Asiimwe as well as representatives of JLOS Institutions on a guided tour of the facilities.
Both the Chief Justice and the minister planted trees of justice to commemorate the commissioning.
Prof Kamuntu said society needs a Judiciary which is independent but also one that appreciates the historical mission of the country in order to maintain peace and security.
HW Bossa said he was glad that his five-year tour of duty was ending with the commissioning of the centre. Adding that with the centre in place, “half of the enormous challenges” that had plagued frontline JLOS institutions in the district had been solved.
Some of the outstanding challenges the area has include lack of power and as such the facility still hires a generator whenever need arises. The courthouse does not have furniture even in the courthalls.
The Chairperson LCV, Sylvester Agubanshongorera, said it was a memorable day and a clear manifestation of Government’s commitment to the rule of law. However, he pointed out while court and the ODPP had already moved into the premises, the police are yet to move since electricity supply is a necessity in their operations.
Commending HW Bossa as someone at the frontline of promoting Judiciary innovations and wished him well at his next station, the district leader appealed to the Chief Justice to delay his transfer from the area. “He should be given a chance to enjoy the ambience of the Court after enduring to work for five years in unfavourable premises.”
The official also called on the authorities to find resources for the construction of a Prison facility and a house for a magistrate, as well as upgrading the Rubirizi Court to a Chief Magistrates Court.
Ms Harriet Nakamya Harriet, the Rubirizi Resident District Commissioner thanked JLOS for funding the construction of the Centre saying it was a true manifestation of efforts to improve administration of justice.
On his part, the Bunyaruguru County MP, John Twesigye said, “What we have done today is a great thing, your Lordships we have commissioned a center for justice in Rubirizi district.”