Teso Demands Justice in Delayed Compensation Cases

1764 Views Soroti, Uganda

In short
Concerned residents of Teso-sub region have tasked Chief Justice Bart Katureebe to intervene in their four cases in which they sued government seeking to be compensated for the loss of their cattle to Karimojong raiders and soldiers.

Concerned residents of Teso-sub region have tasked Chief Justice Bart Katureebe to intervene in their four cases in which they sued government seeking to be compensated for the loss of their cattle to Karimojong raiders and soldiers.
 
 
The residents led by Paphras Imodot Edimu, the chairperson of the Teso War Victims and Claimants body, last evening lamented to the head of the judiciary how their cases have taken long without being decided on and yet they lost over 1 million heads of cattle.
 
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The demand by the Teso sub region residents was made at Soroti High Court premises during an interface with the Chief Justice Katureebe as he continues to tour courts across the country. The Soroti chief magistrate court circuit presides over matters of eight districts in Teso that include Soroti, Katakwi, Kaberamaido, Amuria, Serere, Kumi, Ngora and Bukedea.
 
"Teso used to own over 1 million cows but they were taken away by the soldiers during the war and also Karimojong. We filed cases in the courts but judgment has taken long to be passed. What is the problem?" asked Edimu.
 
Another resident Yakobo from Amuria district wondered why other communities like the Lango people and Baganda who lost cattle have been compensated by government while they continue to wait.
 
The district councillor representing Eastern Division, Mohammed Nasur said land cases take between five to ten years without a ruling. He said this denies the claimants justice. 
 
However, the resident judge Henrietta Wolayo explained to the angry residents that she had to refer some cases to the Constitutional Court in Kampala for interpretation on grounds that some sections of the Constitution needed to be interpreted in order for her to continue hearing them.
 
Similarly, Katureebe explained that some time back, the Constitutional Court did not have enough judges to hear such cases, which cases he said require a panel of five justices to hear them before saying the coram is now enough to hear them out.
 
In a related development, Katureebe used this forum to warn all the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to stop interfering with judicial processes.
 
He said if a citizen is hurt by the actions of the RDC and runs to court seeking remedy, the RDCs should not interfere with the court proceedings.
 
RDCs have lately been dominating the media for interfering with court orders especial in land matters.

Katureebe today heads to Tororo court and thereafter to Iganga.