Rushenyi County LC1 Chairpersons cautioned over court fees

LC one being trained by one of Local Government official in Rubaare


Amos Tayebwa


LC1 Chairpersons from Rushenyi County in Ntungamo district have been cautioned to be vigilant in charging fees for case registration in local council courts in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

This caution was raised by officials from the ministry of Local Government. LC1 chairpersons are considered as the judges for Local Council one courts but they should put court fee charges that favor the people whose cases are registered at that level.

During the recent meeting, about 267 LC1 Chairpersons,  31 LC2 Chairpersons and 7 LC3 Chairpersons converged at Rubare All Saints Church in Rubare Town, Rushenyi County for a training about roles  of Local Council courts and  qualities  of service in local administration of justice.

The training was conducted by the  Ministry of Local Government in collaboration with  the office of Member of Parliament for Rushenyi County, Naome Kabasharira who lobbied for this training for the lower Local Council Chairpersons through the office of Permanent Secretary.

In the same meeting LC1 Chairpersons were asked about the issue of court fees they charge people while handling their cases, it was established that the chairpersons charge various fees according to the magnitude of the case. It was found that they charge between Shs 20000 to 60,000.

Swizin Kinga Mugyema, Commissioner -Local Councils Development in the Ministry of Local Governmentsaid said that they intended to conduct a training for all LC1, LC2 and LC3 courts to make sure they deliver a quality service in local administration justice.

Mugyema urged the police to stop interrupting Local council courts on cases that are supposed to be handled by the LC Chairpersons. He further asked the LCs to also avoid handling cases that are supposed to be in police.  Mugyema revealed that the system of local council courts is meant to help people reduce the cost of going to higher courts over simple issues in the community. He has revealed that research has established that the majority of Ugandans are accessing justice through the local council courts systems.

Commissioner Mugyema has also condemned the situation of exorbitant figures when people register their cases in Local Council courts.

“We don’t allow a situation of charging exorbitant figures when people are registering their cases, the fee is clearly stipulated in the regulations and we have given the regulations to those leaders so people should not be charged a lot of money. A fee of Shs 5000 will facilitate a registration of the case and somebody should be able to access justice at the local level because when you charge highly then you make access to justice costly and it defeats the logic why this local council system was introduced in the law,” said Mugyema

MP Naome Kabasharira said that the LC leaders have taken it to themselves that they must charge according to how the case is. She said that it would be good if all the Local Council courts charge uniform fees but this requires a lot of debate discussion. She however revealed that it should also depend on the size of the case registered to their courts.

“This needs a lot of debate to come out with a smart resolution because If you charge the same, some cases are not equal or are not the same, so it should also be like in courts of law where they don’t charge each one the same amount of money, it is charged according to the case, so likewise even these local council courts they have been charging different amount of money according to the case.  This should be upon the LC Chairpersons who are Judges at that level and look at the person, they look at the type of the case and charge accordingly.

“But I encourage them not to go beyond and charge money which shouldn’t be charged. And I want us to agree that despite all that,  these LC chairpersons do a lot and if they were not there we would also have problems and the Government. So generally if they are to do the work without fear or favor, I am telling you LCs would be the best court for one to go,” said MP Kabasharira.



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