By Stephen Opio Ongora
Dokolo – Local leaders in Dokolo have been warned against handling cases of criminal nature in communities.
ASP Amir Magulu, the Officer in Charge (OC) Dokolo Central Police Station says Local Council Is, IIs and IIIs courts need to forward criminal cases to police noting their services are fully available in each sub county in the district.
Magulu cautions the Local Councils (LCs) to stop handling and resolving cases such as criminal trespass, assaults, boundary encroachment, domestic violence, gender based violence including defilement, rape and sexual harassment among others saying the LC courts have no jurisdiction to handle them.
He advises the LCs to handle only civil cases which the law empowers them to resolve.
Magulu made the remarks during a Grievance and Redress Committee capacity building training for police officers, LCs and local government.
According to Theresa Auma, the executive director Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU), the LCs are levying heavy charges on the community members seeking their services.
She said in some situations, LCs are charging complainants over 500.000 shillings forcing many underprivileged community members to rent out their land in order to raise costs under the Local Council courts.
LEMU has documented 200 grievances in Dokolo and Amolatar districts where people seeking justice at Local Council Courts were overcharged.
The Dokolo District Community Development Officer Judith Amuge has advised the police to sensitize the public on criminal and civil matters such that the reporting channel is clear.