This is the third session being held in Lira following the second session that took place in 2018.
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The session, which is scheduled to last for three weeks will handle 33 labor disputes that were registered from across the Lango sub-region.
Speaking during the pre-session meeting on Monday, Industrial court Judge Anthony Wabwire, committed to having more court sessions in the region to solve the problem of case backlog and relieve the resident judge from overworking himself.
He also implored labor officers to continue mediating cases so that they do not end up in Court.
Earlier, Justice Duncan Gaswaga, the Lira Resident Judge advocated for more Industrial court sessions, saying that he was overwhelmed with work – being the only judge in the entire sub-region.
“Immediately after here. I’m leaving so that we go and transact business on the other side and that is why I am here asking for support from all of you stakeholders that we need a second judge in this Jurisdiction. That is exactly what I am looking for so that as civil work is going on, there is also criminal work going on the other side,”He said.
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Similarly, Tom Oguta, the Lira District Labour Officer requested that the Court sessions should be held on a quarterly basis because the labor office is also overwhelmed with cases especially following the outbreak of COVID-19, which forced many employers to lay off their staff.
“We had a number of files but today I am impressed that those files that we registered and submitted are part of the 33 files before us so I will be very happy to see that our claimant’s issues are addressed on time and I would also request that this session should be done quarterly knowing that COVID brought a lot of challenges in the employment environment so there are a number of issues that are facing workers and affecting employers in the region,”He said.
He also tasked the Judiciary to consider building the capacity of labor officers, saying most of them do not have a legal background, which makes it hard for them to register and mediate cases.
Sylvia Nabaggala, the Registrar at the Industrial Court explained that the delays in handling cases are based on the fact that case files are never ready for hearing.
“One disadvantage is that we don’t have our own space and in most cases when we want to come for a hearing you realize that the files are not ready and the judges will come and sit here almost doing nothing so we call upon you to make sure that files are ready” .She said.
Among the cases to be handled includes one in which David Rowland Okello is suing Mercy Corps Uganda, Chong Nelson, and others versus the governing council of All Saints University Lango.
Others include a case where Andrew Oponi and 24 others have sued the chairperson of the Governing Council Lira University, Akullo Agnes Omara versus the Chairperson of Governing Council Lira University, and Plan International versus Miriam Akoli.
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