KAYONGA PAUL & LYDIA NABAWANDA
More than Shs 10 billion was recovered last year through the small claims procedure instituted by the judiciary in Uganda to administer justice to all Ugandans especially in business.
This was revealed during the launch of 2018 small claims procedure performance and activity report at the Judicial Training Institute at Nakawa, presided over by the deputy chief justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo.
Owiny Dollo congratulated judicial officers upon the achievement but urged them on the partiality clause.
“…. judicial officers should not necessarily be neutral but impartial,” he said.
The 2018 small claims procedure performance report has revealed exceptional outcomes, with up to Shs 10 billion recovered from over 5,000 cases.
Judicial officers in the monitoring and management of the procedure say ability to help vulnerable people get their money back is enough to celebrate since a lot of money is usually held as cases remain in courts of law awaiting full litigation.
“Small claim procedure deals with small monetary claims below 10 million and are resolved within 30 days of registration’’ said Lillian Buchana the assistant registrar small claims.
Buchana added that small claims give Ugandans access to justice much faster than other court procedures.
Notwithstanding the benefits, the procedure is still limited to a few courts of law across the county according to Geoffrey Kiryabwire, the chair small claims procedure implementation committee.
Kiryabwire told The Nile Post that since the inception of this kind of system I the judiciary, about 55 courts has the capacity to adopt this system countrywide.
“With about 220 courts in Uganda, only 55 have been covered and so we are looking at taking small claim procedure to the North , East and other parts of Uganda’’ Kiryabwire remarked.
Small Claims Procedure was adopted seven years back as part of the alternative dispute resolution methods by the judiciary.
The same helps judicial officers resolve cases within thirty days against the normal court process that sometimes lasts years.