Arua High Court Circuit comprising
of 6 Magisterial Areas in West Nile has been overwhelmed with backlog of cases.
The cases mainly
comprising of Civil, Criminal, Land and Miscellaneous causes accumulated within
the COVID-19 lockdown period that started in March 2020.
According to reports
presented to the Judiciary Committee on Case Backlog by Magistrates in the six
Magisterial areas at Arua High Court today, the region has 70 cases under Arua
which includes Arua, Maracha and Koboko pending disposal,
391 undisposed cases in
Yumbe Chief Magistrates Court, 94 cases before Nebbi magisterial Area which
covers Nebbi, Pakwach and Zombo districts while Moyo Magisterial Area which
includes Moyo and Obongi has 33 cases in the backlog.
Lubowa, the Chief Magistrate greater Arua says the COVID-19 pandemic, insufficient
human and lack of enough financial resources greatly contributed to accumulation of cases in
his Magisterial area.
// Cue in; Despite the aggressive.…
Cue out; to backlog in Arua.…." //
Kiwanuka, the Grade One Magistrate for Yumbe says they have 391 backlog of
cases which require another Grade One Magistrate to help in addition to having
special sessions and support from Legal Aid to enable them manage the backlog.
According to Kiwanuka,
the main causes of case backlog include absence of resident Lawyers in Yumbe
and that most litigants fail to pay for hire of legal services from lawyers in
Arua who are largely expensive, hence delaying court processes.
// Cue in; Case backlog clearance.…Cue out; helping in the research.…. "//
Robert Mukanza, the acting
Chief Magistrate for Nebbi which includes Pakwach and Zombo says most of the
backlog of cases in the area are a result of Litigants failing to respond to
summons and delays in securing letters of administration by relatives of
// Cue in; Report concerning.…Cue out; letters of administration.…. "//
However according to
Swaleh Asiku, the Grade One Magistrate for Moyo, the challenge of lack of language
interpreters especially in Obongi district where Reli, Gimara and Aliba
dialects are spoken has made many cases to drag on.
// Cue in; As of April 2021.…Cue out; accessing Court.…. "//
But in his response to managing
the cases in the backlog, Justice Fredrick Martin Ntende, the Vice Chairman of
Case Backlog at the Judiciary said hard and soft wares of new technologies will
be availed in all courts to help in research and access to materials in quick
disposal of cases.
Justice Ntende however,
urged the Magistrates to embrace online filing of cases using the new Court
system instead of waiting for materials to handle them.
// Cue in; I would like to.…Cue out; what’s happening.…." //
According to the
reports presented to the Case Backlog Committee, only Pakwach Grade One
Magistrate Court managed to clear its case backlog of over 60 cases since a new
Magistrate was posted there a year ago.
The case backlog
committee at the Judiciary currently serving its second term was formed to establish
causes of case backlog and fast track their disposal.