The Principal Judge, Justice Yorokamu Bamwiine has advised key stakeholders in the country to work together to bring to an end the increasing number of cases of domestic and gender based violence
Speaking at the opening of the 2nd National Symposium on Access to Justice for Women and Girls Experiencing Violence in Kampala, Bamwiine asked everybody to play their role effectively if they are to register success.
“Uganda is a signatory to a number of treaties aimed at addressing Gender violence cases. On top of that, a number of bodies and legislations have been put in place but there is no much progress,” Bamwiine said, adding that implementation seems to remain a challenge.
“Poor case management, poor statement recording, trial with in a trial on unnecessary matters are some of the things that affect cases at court level and they need to be addressed as soon as possible”
On the side of the judiciary Bamwiine said that a number of policies have been put in place like installation of live streaming equipment in 5 High Court circuits in the country to enable minors to testify without having eye contact with the accused.
Secondly the judiciary is currently running a special session on Gender based violence cases where over 1000 cases are being handled, after which with recommendations they will decide whether to continue with it or put in place a special High Court circuit to handle gender related offences.
Uganda law society president Simon Peter Kinobe revealed that they have put in place 15 legal aid clinics providing legal assistance to victims in over 70 districts.
Kinobe added that on their new administration building they have considered putting in place a separate office to train various stakeholders including Police officers on how to successfully handle these cases.
He further promised that with time they are going to increase the number of legal aid clinics to cover all the districts in the country.
UN women representative in the country Dr Maxime Houinato asked various stake holders in the country to devise means through which they can make people familiar with laws starting from an early age so that they can be able to defend their rights.
“In the next four years more than 20 million US Dollars are going to be spent on addressing Gender violence in Uganda. If violence is eliminated this money can be used to boost other sectors like education,” said Houinto.
This symposium brought together various stake holders in fighting violence as well as enforcement of the law like Prosecutors, lawyers and members of civil society organizations