Uganda: Shs 5 Trillion Locked Up in Unresolved Court Cases

17 November 2021
Nile Post News (Kampala)

The Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, has said that due to inadequate funding, the commercial division of the High Court has failed to dispose of over 6,000 cases, locking up Shs 5 trillion in litigation.

Owiny-Dollo made remarks while releasing the annual performance report of the judiciary for the 2020/2021 financial year at the High Court in Kampala.

"The Supreme Court had the disposal rate of 14% with the clearance rate of 49%, the Court of Appeal which serves as a constitutional court had a disposal rate of 17% and the clearance rate of 81%, the high courts had 38% of disposal rate and 109% clearance rate," he said.

According to the chief justice, the judiciary had a total caseload of 317,929.

He said due to weeding out dormant cases in accordance with the law, use of video conference system to hear cases which reduced the delay of bringing prisoners and suspects to court, use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms,they have successfully concluded 156,875 cases.

"The chief magistrate courts had 15604 backlog cases while magistrate grade one courts had 4896 backlog cases, so there is a need to amend the magistrate court act to enhance jurisdiction for them to render meaningful service to our people," he said.

He said that Shs 12.4 billion was spent on renting premises for courts in different parts of the country.

"Most of the court buildings are old but also small and inadequate to match staff and court users. There were challenges of lack of budget support to cater for accommodation in hard to reach areas like Kalangala, Buvuma Island, Buliisa, Buyende which hindered access to judicial services,"said Owiny-Dollo.

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