Amuru Magistrate Court Struggles To Deliver Justice

3702 Views Nwoya, Uganda

In short
Joseph Angole, the Amuru Court magistrate attributes this to the absence of a prison facility in both districts.

The Amuru magistrate's court is struggling to dispense justice to residents of Nwoya and Amuru districts due to lack of transport to ferry suspects to court for trial.

 
Suspects from both districts are held in Gulu Central Prison or Lugore Prison Farm, which more than 60 kilometers away. Joseph Angole, the Amuru Court magistrate attributes this to the absence of a prison facility in both districts.
 
 
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According to Angole, they introduced sessions in Gulu for suspects on remand in Gulu Central prison, but this modest effort has also come with its own challenges for witnesses.
 

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The district has no transport means to ferry the judge and suspects to and from Court. As result, court is forced to drop some of the cases due to the difficulties to produce suspects to face trial and witnesses to pin them.
 
 
Michael Lakony, the Amuru district chairperson says the absence of accommodation for Prison staff and inmates is denying hundreds of residents justice.
 
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Margaret Orik Obonyo, the Gulu Prisons Commander says government is constructing a detention facility in Amuru district to solve the justice dilemma. She says the facility will open its doors within three months to house male and female inmates.
 
 
 
 
 
Obonyo says the move will also decongest the overcrowded Gulu Central Prison.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.