Uganda: Museveni Tells Judges to Embrace Traditional Justice

31 October 2019

Kampala — President Museveni has urged African Chief Justices to embrace the original traditional justice system in the administration of justice in their respective countries to ensure harmony.

The head of state reasoned that the western judicial system that we are following, is all about evidence and not co-existence.

"... I think it's a good chance for you (African Chief Justices) to see how we apply our original traditional justice towards the struggle for human rights and also enhance harmony in society," he said.

He added: "Even if someone did wrong, the traditional system does not emphasise it. It says leave it."

The President made the remarks during the 4th judicial officers' dialogue organised by the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in Kampala on Wednesday.

Mr Museveni who has in the past, bashed the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly going after African leaders and proposing that the African Court be strengthened to handle our own problems, remained mute on the same subject matter.

Further in his remarks, Mr Museveni called upon the African jurists to always priotise the hearing of cases that will bring about economic development rather than cases such as assault.

He also re-echoed the need to hang those who have murdered others in cold blood instead of handing them jail sentences.

Museveni added that he believes in the law of Moses in the Bible that calls for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Explaining the genesis of African judicial dialogue, Mr Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the deputy chairperson of the African Union, said since Africa has witnessed decades of numerous human rights challenges resulting from a diverse range of factors which include among others war, poverty, corruption and autocratic governance, it was prudent that African states solemnly resolve to promote and safeguard freedom, equality and human divinity across the continent.

Promotion of rights

Citing the theme for the dialogue: "Tackling contemporary Human Rights Issues," Mr Kwesi called upon members of the Judiciary at all levels to collectively work together to promote and protect the human and peoples' rights in Africa.

"On the other hand, I would like to seize this opportunity to call on our member states to ratify, domesticate and implement all AU human rights and shared values treaties."

"This is also an opportunistic to remind our member states on the need to fully implement all decisions and recommendations made by AU organs with a human rights mandate. This will provide the political support that is needed to build a human rights system that is effective and strong. A system that is respectful and trusted by the African people," he said.

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