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Luweero LC III Courts Accused of Escalating Land Conflicts

The Courts consist of independent persons other than the LC Committee members and have jurisdiction over limited civil matters and petty criminal offenses. They also deal with cases governed by customary law including property, interstate inheritance, and marital disputes.

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Police and residents in Luweero are accusing LC III courts of escalating land conflicts in the district.

The Courts consist of independent persons other than the LC Committee members and have jurisdiction over limited civil matters and petty criminal offences. They also deal with cases governed by customary law including property, interstate inheritance, and marital disputes.

However in Luweero district, the courts have been accused of misusing their mandate and lacking knowledge on resolving land related disputes. According to residents, the courts have instead facilitated a surge in cases of violence.

Savannah Regional Police Commander Musa Nabende explains that under Judiciary guidelines, the LC 3 Courts are supposed to preside over cases and make recommendations which must be approved by the chief magistrate before implementation. On the contrary, the Courts in Luweero have issued orders before seeking advice or approval from the Magistrates court.

He adds that his office records up to eight cases every week, four of which are related to decisions made by the LC III courts.  The latest incident was at Yanda village where a landlord Agaba Babigumira used recommendations from Zirobwe LC 3 Court to raze properties belonging to a tenant Moses Musoke.

// Cue in:”They are mixing….

  Cue out;….. they should do”//

// Cue in: (Luganda)”Ndowooza tujja genda…

Cue out..obuzibu obuliwo”//

Babigumira says he acted out of ignorance with the hope that decisions by LC III Courts tantamount to a ruling and was not advised that it needed to be approved by a magistrate. He was charged with causing malicious damage to property.

Yasin Doka, a resident of South East Zone in Luweero town was also recently blocked by police from re-possessing a disputed three acre piece of land. He was accused of using illegal decisions to effect an eviction and later charged with causing malicious damage to property.

Doka has since the incident expressed resentment with police in Luweero and has petitioned IGP Kale Kayihura seeking his intervention to stop them from interfering in execution of LC 3 court decisions.

// Cue in: (Luganda) “Okusinzira ku ggwange…..

Cue out;…..malicious damage”//

Sunday Mugerwa, a member of Zirobwe town board explains that the LC 3 court officials are not paid and in many land cases the plaintiffs or defendants foot their sitting and transport allowances. He says such a trend persuades them to rule in favor of certain individuals.

None of LC 3 Court chairpersons were willing to comment on the matter but Livingstone Kategeya, the Kamira Sub County LC 3 Chairperson acknowledged the complaints and suggested that an alternative dispute resolution system should be adopted to replace the courts.

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