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Moroto JLOS House: Dawn of a new Karamoja

The Ag. Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Stephen Kavuma (left) and Mr. Floris Van Eijk, FirstSecretary Security and Rule of Law and the Netherlands Embassy (representing the Netherlands Ambassador) opening the Moroto JLOS House on February 14 2014 (PHOTO: JLOS Media) The Ag. Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Stephen Kavuma (left) and Mr. Floris Van Eijk, FirstSecretary Security and Rule of Law and the Netherlands Embassy (representing the Netherlands Ambassador) opening the Moroto JLOS House on February 14 2014 (PHOTO: JLOS Media)

Karamoja sub-region was in the past largely known for cattle rustling, insecurity, poverty and generally low levels of socio-economic development. However, slowly but surely, this North-Eastern part of the country is being transformed inside out into an epitome of peace and recovery. On February 14 2014, the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) officially opened the Moroto JLOS House – a justice hub that will provide a point of access for key JLOS frontline institutions. Strategically located in the middle of town with Mt. Moroto providing a beautiful backdrop, the newly opened JLOS house was constructed at a cost of Shs 1.9 bn with support from the Netherlands. Also commissioned were newly constructed staff quarters that cost Shs 760m (funded by Ireland) - underlying the sector’s commitment to provide accommodation to staff in hard-to-reach areas.

The Moroto JLOS House shall provide decentralization of services that you would ordinarily only find in Kampala. It is also proof, that even in one facility, you can successfully share public services saving the taxpayer billions of shillings annually spent on rent. Offices to be housed in this complex include the Attorney General’s chambers, Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Tax Appeals Tribunal, Judicial Service Commission, Office of the Regional Prisons Commander, facilities for the JLOS Secretariat, Uganda Human Rights Commission and Uganda Registration Services Bureau.

As elaborated by the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, Minister of Internal Affairs, local leaders and development partners during the commissioning ceremony, the Moroto JLOS House stands to ultimately bring services closer to the people of Karamoja ensuring a complete chain of justice. For example, with the establishment of the immigration office, those in need of passports will no longer be required to travel to Kampala. This process will be expedited as other registration services – births and deaths, will also be on site through the URSB office. Implementation of the National Identity Scheme remains a key priority of the Justice, Law and Order Sector. The newly opened regional centre in Moroto will support this process within the Karamoja sub-region. Last but not least, the opening of a satellite centre for the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) will go a long way in enforcing social and economic rights for the local population.

But that is not all. In addition to the services offered in the JLOS House, the Justice, Law and Order Sector continues to spearhead efforts geared toward ensuring justice for all for the people of Karamoja. The recent recruitment of approximately 4,000 police personnel specifically for the Karamoja region, training of 140 community liason officers under KALIP and construction of Police Stations and barracks in Abim, Iriri, Kaabong and Nakapiripirit – are all testament of JLOS’ committment to enhance access to justice in this part of the country. Additionally, the Uganda Prison in Moroto was rehabilitated and has been transformed into a medium security prison. As a result, capital offences can now be tried in Moroto as opposed to being moved to Mbale or Soroti as was the case before making case disposal much faster.

Amidst this success, we also recognize that there are some areas in Karamoja such as Tapak and Nandugat which are not in close proximity to JLOS Services. However, in partnership with civil society and non-state actors, the Justice, Law and Order Sector is harnessing opportunities to take advantage of these strong linkages to deliver on the agenda of justice for all - especially for the marginalized and poor. The establishment of upcountry justice hubs also creates a need for of ICTs through use of e-justice platforms. This would streamline communication and information dissemination between public officials in geographically separated areas.

Of course, the efforts of the Justice, Law and Order Sector are, in different ways are being complemented by the numerous ongoing development programmes in the region such as the Karamoja Integrated Disarmament and Development Plan (KIDDP), Karamoja Primary Education Program (KPEP) and Karamoja Livelihoods Improvement Program (KALIP). Several infrastructural initiatives such as the construction of a tarmac road from Moroto to Nakapiripirit are underway. There is no doubt that an improved transport network will open the region to huge economic opportunities through tourism and agriculture greatly contributing to alleviation of poverty and improved service delivery.

All this is therefore evidence of a new era in Karamoja. The Justice, Law and Order Sector is proud to be part of this transformation and success story as we seek to deepen reforms for a pro people justice system in Uganda

[This article appeared in the New Vision of March 14 2014, Pg. 14 titled " Karamoja in a new Dawn of Justice"]


By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.| Published: February 20, 2014

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icon Speech by the Chief Justice (80.03 kB)

icon Speech by the Chair, JLOS DPG (43.86 kB)

icon Speech by the Netherlands Ambassador (67.05 kB)

icon Handover report for the Moroto JLOS House (1.75 MB)

icon Handover report for the Moroto JLOS Staff Quarters (1.61 MB)