By Fred Kiva, Masindi
Principal Judge, Hon. Justice Dr. Yorokamu Bamwine threatens to expel judicial officials over missing case files.
Speaking during court open day at Masindi court on Tuesday July 18, Bamwine said there were scenarios where court officials have reported to his office cases of missing files.
“Clerks, how do files go missing, do they have legs! Do they walk? so anybody reporting loss of a file will be held suspect number one and am ready to take them out of the system.”, Bamwine vowed.
Bamwine also cautioned court officials against corruption, and warned court users against tempting the officials in their quest for justice. “Court users don’t lead our staff into temptation; at times you tempt hungry lions with meat.” he warned.
He asked the judicial officials to always ensure access to justice for all; regardless of age or economic status.
Masindi Resident Judge Rugadya Atwooki said Court Open Day was intended to give chance to members of the public to assess courts work.
“It is your day to tell us about what we do, feel free to speak out even if it’s against me.” Rugadya emphasised.
During the ceremony, residents raised a number of concerns regarding delayed and interfered administration of justice.
The leader of pastoralists evicted from Buliisa communal land seven years ago, Grace Bororoza complained that despite a court ruling in 2013 that evictees should be compensated 2million shillings each for illegal eviction, they have never received the money to date.
Hajji Asuman Karubanga 92, a resident of Kijura Kigajju in Masindi Municipality said was not compensated for the case he won.
“I have never been compensated, despite a court ruling in 1989 that I should be compensated after I won a land
case.” Although the old man could not disclose how much he demands in compensation, he claims he won a land case against Erukan Oyaku and seven others.
A political and social activist in Masindi town, Kanti Rodgers said Police, prosecutors and Office of Masindi Resident District Commissioner sometimes collude to disrespect court orders.
“Do court orders still have any meaning because we secured a court order where police arrested us on matters regarding the trans-Bunyoro highway and the DPC behind you there defied the court order, we go to court they tell us the court order works but we don’t see it(order) working. Now that you are here tell them to produce our case file because its open day and we see the openness of justice.” Kanti clarifies
Bamwine admitted that there are people in government who do not respect court orders, although he seemed not to offer any solution. “We have people in government who don’t respect court orders and the moment this happens, just know lawlessness is back.” He concluded.