KAMPALA – The Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, concluded his week-long familiarization tour of courts under Mbarara and Masaka High Court circuits with a tour of Rakai, Kalisizo, Lukaya Magistrates courts.
He last Thursday visited Kalisizo court in Kyotera District and Rakai Magistrates Courts where he interacted with court staff and inspected court premises at both courts.
The Magistrate G1 Kasilizo court, HW Joy Nambozo in her brief to PJ said she is working in a dilapidated rented structure adding that thieves broke into the premises and made off with the court’s sole computer.
She also pointed out that the court lacks an accounts assistant.
On touring the premises, the PJ agreed that indeed the court is in a deplorable state. He promised to take up the matter with the relevant office. He gave hands-on training to the registry staff on proper archiving of court files.
From Kalisizo, Dr Zeija proceeded to Rakai Magistrates Court and was received by the station in charge, Magistrate GI HW Peter Mutala who took him on a guided tour of the court premises.
HW Mutala thanked him for being the first Principal Judge to visit the court in Rakai. Among the challenges noted were the lack of space and furniture. The court cannot accommodate more than one Judicial Officer in one sitting. “When the Chief Magistrate comes to circuit at the court I have to adjourn all his cases due to lack of space for more than one judicial officer,” he said.
At Masaka High Court, the PJ interacted with judicial officers at the Court including visiting judge Eudes Keitirima, Resident Judge Victoria Katamba Nakintu Nkwanga, Masaka Chief Magistrate Deo Sejjemba and the Magistrate Grade Ones at the station.
The Resident Judge informed the PJ that Masaka faces a serious problem of space for both chambers and court halls as well as old equipment and machinery that are still kept at the court premises. She pointed out that most Magistrate Grade one courts in the circuit are operated in structures not fit for court business.
The PJ also visited Lukaya Magistrates Court on Friday and was taken on a guided tour of the premises by Magistrate Grade One, Jalia Basajjabalaba. The magistrate who also caretakes Kalungu Magistrates Court said the court is in a pathetic state and does not even have any support staff stationed there.
In his interaction with the judicial officers at the different courts, the PJ stated that his visit was to look at court facilities, identify manpower gaps as well as understand the challenges faced by the respective courts.
The PJ begun his familiarization tour on Monday starting with Mbarara High Court and Isingiro Chief Magistrate’s court. He then proceeded to Bushenyi Chief Magistrate’s Court and Rubirizi Magistrate Grade one Court. The other courts visited were Ibanda and Kiruhura Courts.