The Grade Two magistrates Court in Rubanda is now operating at the District Headquarters compound due to lack of structures and furniture. The only available court room is too small to accommodate the Magistrate, lawyers, witnesses, suspects and the audience.
Prior to the creation of the new district last year, court sessions would be held at the County conference (Lukiiko) hall, which was later transformed into the District conference (Lukiiko) hall upon the operationalization of the new district in July.
In the new arrangement, handcuffed suspects, witnesses, sureties and the audience sit on the ground as they listen to the cases read by the magistrate. But locals say that the arrangement is disturbing and are demanding that the district authorities together with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs construct a bigger court room.
Joseph Maguru 59, a resident from Hamurwa Sub County says that he was devastated when a prison warder told him that a person he had visited at the court was among the crowd that was seated on the ground, in front of a small courtroom. He was equally advised to join the group since the court did not have any furniture for visitors.
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Jane Mukandinda, 47, a resident of Karukara in Hamurwa Town Council, Rubanda District was also at the court to stand surety for one of the suspects. Mukandinda described the sight of the court session as shameful.
Silva Baguma, the Rubanda District Vice Chairman says that court sessions in Rubanda and often adjourned whenever the weather changes. During rainy days, everyone scampers to the neighborhoods while suspects are taken back to Rubanda Government Prison for shelter.
Baguma says that lack of furniture is a general problem at the district.
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Bernard Kasangaki, the Rubanda District Principle Assistant Secretary says that the District is still financially incapacitated. He however says that the district is willing to offer land to any organisation that would offer to construct a bigger courtroom.
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Grade two Magistrate Richard Niwagaba says the matter will be forwarded to the judicial service commission for consideration.