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Judiciary Stuck with UGX 26bn Bail Cash

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Chief Registrar Sarah Langa Siu said that the money is not being claimed due to the ignorance of litigants regarding their rights on bail money and the experience they go through while in court and prison.

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The judiciary is stuck with 26 Billion Shillings bail cash. According to records, as of July 30 2020, the money had accumulated to over Shillings 26.4 billion within 10 years.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, the Chief Registrar of Courtsof Judicature Sarah Langa Siu said that the money is not claimed due to the ignorance of litigants regarding their rights on bail money and the experience they go through while in court and prison.

Bail cash is refundable after a case is finalized whether it is a conviction or acquittal. The litigant should have met other bail conditions including reporting to the court. .


The application is submitted alongside the original bail document, an original receipt for paying cash bail and sometimes an original acknowledgement receipt from the Uganda Revenue Authority.

Langa says that all judicial officers should remind people to claim their bail cash upon the conclusion of the case. She also says that anyone eligible for a refund must write to the court that granted him or her bail and that bail refund is only refunded through the bank.

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According to Langa, the judiciary plans to put in place a mechanism where the bail money can be refunded to the litigant through mobile money.

Langa explained that there is no limited time within which one can get back their bail money.

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The High Court registrar Samuel Emokor says that in case the litigant dies, the family through the estates administrator can apply and get the money.

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The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Service Provider's Network-LASPNET, Sylvia Namubiru says the biggest challenge is ignorance of the law by the accused persons. She says the judiciary should publicize the information for people to know that they are entitled to their bail cash once the case is closed.

"Rarely will someone leave their land title or passport with the court because they know this is a treasure, but for money, perhaps they don't attach a lot of value and that is why they leave it there," says Namubiru.

She said that some accused persons may forfeit their bail cash knowing that they defied bail conditions. Nambiru asked the court to publish names of people and amounts owed to them in bail cash and set a deadline when the money should be claimed.