Residents of Luuka district are excited after the judiciary launched a mediation procedure to help them get justice and resolve small crimes.
The Small Claims Procedure will help fight bribery and fraud. The procedure was launched at Luuka court.
Alex Kaiso a resident of Bukang sub-county in Luuka district lent Shs 2m to a friend in 2020. To date, the friend has failed to repay the loan despite several demands.
“I have been traveling to Iganga court to get justice but this was costly because I do not have the money to hire a lawyer to mitigate my case before the court,” he said.
During the launch, Jackie Kagoya the Grade One magistrate at Mukono court who represented the registrar of small scale procedure, Lillian Bucyana, said that the judiciary in 2012, agreed to introduce a Small Claims Procedure in every magistrate’s court in order to offer cheap and faster solutions to people with small claim civil matters.
“We realized that we were wasting a lot of time in the courts handling small claim matters which actually can be resolved in the lower courts within the shortest time possible,” Kagoya said.
She said the procedure will only handle matters whose value does not exceed Shs 10m and the magistrates’ courts will ensure that the issue is handled within 14 days.
“The parties to a small claim are mediated by a judicial officer to reach a quick agreement, avoiding technical procedures, excluding lawyers, consequently shortening the usually lengthy and costly court process,” she said amidst deafening applause from the jubilant residents.
Under the procedure, the parties have no room for appeal but in case they find new evidence that can change the outcomes of the case, they can apply for a review.
Paul Bwire Ogallo the Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Luuka district, said that the procedure, once instituted, will help to reduce the number of deaths that have occurred due to failure by one party to clear a debt.
“So many relationships have been soiled due to debts. People have lost lives, property and many are languishing in the prisons just because they failed to honour their debts. This procedure I believe will help in amicable resolution of disputes,” he said.