MPIGI – A team from the Judiciary’s Public Relations and Communications Unit has embarked on a sensitization campaign targeting court users and the public in areas of Mpigi, Buwama and Nsangi.
This week, a team led by the Judiciary Principal Communications Officer, Mr Solomon Muyita, kicked off the sensitization drive at Mpigi High Court and the Chief Magistrates Court.
The team further proceeded to Buwama Magistrates Court where they engaged the public and sensitized them on the different initiatives in place aimed at improving access to justice.
These included Plea Bargaining in criminal matters, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Small Claims Procedure for civil disputes and the new Judiciary Client Service Charter.
Mr Muyita enlightened the public on the Judiciary Client Charter saying it was a social contract by the Judiciary to uphold professionalism, transparency, accountability, equality and independence while dealing with court users.
In response to questions on bail, Mr Muyita elaborated on the process of how this can be done. He equally highlighted on the complaints management mechanisms in the Judiciary.
The Mpigi High Court Judge, Anthony Oyuko Ojok commended efforts of the team in helping to demystify court operations to the public.
The other court officials who participated in the sensitization drive included the Ag Deputy Registrar and Mpigi Chief Magistrate, Ruth Nabaasa; and Magistrates Grade One: Adams Byarugaba (Mpigi) and Susan Awidi (Buwama).
It was also noted that the courts face a lot of challenges in the administration of justice. For Mpigi High Court and Chief Magistrate Court, there is inadequate equipment such as computers, insufficient space for offices and court halls, and lacks an alternative power source and a station vehicle for the Chief Magistrate who also doubles as the Acting Deputy Registrar. In addition only one Secretary serves all the Judicial officers both at the High Court Circuit (2) and the CM court (5).
Buwama Magistrates Court faces similar challenges like Mpigi in addition to understaffing and delays in producing inmates from Kitalya Prison which according to HW Awidi can take about three to 10 weeks as a result of the ever since COVID-19 pandemic.