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If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in our country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected - those, precisely, who need the law's protection most! - and listens to their testimony.



Land cases have become a constant in our daily conversations with many of you. Bakita has been saving up her monies from her formal employment and now wants to invest in real estate/land. Here is some guidance we gave her, and would like to share with you too.

Before one buys land, there is need to pay attention to a step-by-step procedure to ensure that you do not buy ’air’ from one who may be fraudulently trying to do so.

Under the land laws of Uganda, every Ugandan who is capable of, can buy land. For most Ugandans, buying land is often a big financial decision and so should be done with utmost due diligence and keenness to not fall victim to fraud.

Despite the fact that cases of fraud continue to emerge in the real estate industry, many individuals know that the safest way to buy land or any other properties in Uganda is by working with a professional real estate agency or agent. Working with agencies is very effective because it saves a lot of time and money.

Professional reals estate agents adequately take care of their client’s property search needs and provide them with thorough information. Unless you have time to make your land or property search, an agent is very ideal. An agent is that individual who will most likely be able to match you with the perfect property much faster. If you’re looking for something specific, a real estate agent should know if the land out there is fit for your needs, and he or she will work with you until its final acquisition.

After choosing your agent, you will have to view various pieces of land with him or her. Site inspection is very important. Avoid buying what you have not seen physically. Never seal a land transaction without making the initiative to visit the site. Simply do not make an office transaction basing on descriptions before satisfying yourself with a site visit.

During your site inspection, you will find out the exact location of the property, the neighbourhood and other aspects of the place that is likely to be your new home/property. Things such as the crime rate, access roads and access to social amenities can only be ascertained with a site visit.

To get more information about the site, talk to local leaders and immediate neighbours to give you their view on the status of the plot and the area at large, they can offer you helpful information.

It is advisable to make another inspection without the seller to avoid cases of compulsive purchases and get the true picture of the property. Some people can’t offer full information in the presence of the seller for fear of offending them. They feel shy to reveal some information, but they open up in their absence. It helps you to weigh your investment decision.

It is essential to open the boundaries of a plot before buying it or to at least carry out a preliminary survey for untitled land. Always use a registered surveyor of the Surveyors Registration Board (SRB) since these are the only ones permitted by the Surveyors Registration Act to sign survey reports.

Boundary opening is the process of showing the landowner where his land is, where it passes and locating the existing corner mark stones of the plot. This is done using a land title to guide the process.

Boundary opening helps to confirm whether the information on the land title is what is on the ground. It reveals the actual size of the land and it also allows one to physically view the entire land to check any encroachments. The Surveyor will also conduct a Title search for you. A survey report carries a lot of weight, note: It must be signed and bear a stamp of that registered land surveyor.

It’s advisable to engage a valuer before you make a purchase in the property market. A valuer guides you on the market value of the property and this prevents you from buying above the market price without your knowledge.
This further guide you on what bid to place for that particular property. Quite often, properties have been inflated to unrealistic values.

A valuer can rescue the situation to get you real value for your money. Information is a key factor in the property market especially property prices. Valuers have the required skills and information to attach appropriate value to property after a thorough research of the property market. They give a reliable opinion of value which helps you make an informed decision for that purchase.

Making an offer for property and entering a contract for sale without knowing your legal rights can have profound financial consequences. When you buy a property in Uganda, your rights depend largely on what’s in the contract for sale and because no two properties are the same, no two contracts will be the same either.
The contract for sale/sale agreement must clearly identify the property as well as the terms on which it’s being sold. The most common documents to attach to a contract include:
1. A letter from the Local Council Authorities where the property is situated, confirming presence of the property in the locality.
2. Copies of National Identifications of the sellers
3. A copy of the property duplicate certificate of title, with the demarcated print and encumbrance pages.
4. Copies of any documents showing easements (the right of someone else to cross or use the land), rights of way, restrictions, covenants, etc.
5. Current search report from the Land Registry in the Ministry of Lands (However it is also advisable for the buyer’s Counsel/Solicitor to carry out an independent search).



One day, as Karim was in Nakawa market shopping for, a camera man from a prominent newspaper company, without his knowledge took his photo. A few days later, Karim found a copy of the newspaper with his photo and the headline “LET US DO YOUR IDD SHOPPING.” Below that was the article about a company that helps Moslems do shopping for their families. In the article, it was said that Karim one of the “shoppers” acting on behalf of the said company and was in fact shopping for families that had got in touch with that company to help. Karim was enraged and even relatives got in touch asking him for money because he was a “RICH MAN”


The law says every person has a right to his/her privacy in his/her personal life. This can be in home, communication, property and dealings. In fact, the law on privacy now protects every personal thing that can be used to identify you. It says no one shall collect or keep any data that is personal unless you have authorised.

In 2018, a case similar to that of Karim was brought before a Court in Uganda. In that case, the judge noted that the courts are bound to recognize the right to privacy even when a person is in a public space.


The courts in determining whether the right to privacy has been abused, first asks itself whether the person reasonably expects privacy in what they are doing. So, in this case, did Karim reasonably expect to find himself on the front page of a newspaper as a fictitious employee? The answer is a big NO!!

The journalist therefore abused KARIM’s right to privacy. The journalist should have asked for Karim’s permission before going ahead to take his picture and publishing it. Even the company that used Karim’s photo abused his rights by misrepresenting him as their employee without her permission.





To damage the good reputation of (someone); slander or libel.

In Uganda, if you make any written statements that are untrue about someone, that is intended to damage that person’s reputation, it is known as defamation. This is a criminal offence according to the Penal Code Act punishable by a prison sentence of up to 2 years.

Where they are spoken or gestures used, this is slander. When the statements are written, it is known as libel. For example, if you write about a specific Moslem leader as a pig farmer when it is not true, you have damaged his reputation and this is libel punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment if convicted.



1. No traffic officer is allowed to get and keep your license, they are only allowed to get your details off it. You are not required to have a category (professional driving permit) if you are driving a vehicle for private use.

2. If you do not have your licence on you, no police officer is allowed to charge you on the spot. You should be given time to produce it (according to the law its 21 days)

3. When stopped for speeding, there is an allowance of up to 8kms above the speed limit. You should not be charged for over speeding

4. You are within your rights to ask for the calibration certificate of the radar gun used to capture your speed.

5. You are within your rights to ask for a police officer's man number, WHICH should be worn on the uniform.

6. If you feel a check point has illegally been mounted, drive to the nearest police station and handle your issues from there.


8. Every traffic officer is required to greet you politely - they are a service not a force!

9. No traffic officer is allowed to cause undue delay to a motorist.

10. It is within the law to record a video or capture photos of your encounter with a traffic police officer.

11. You have up to 48 hours to report to the Anti-Corruption Bureau of any misconduct (eg receiving or demanding a bribe) by a traffic officer. Be sure you have evidence such as a video or photos.

Promoting corruption free and Right based services.



Most of us think about and sometimes make New Year's resolutions. In fact the beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on the past twelve months and prepare for the next. This is also a good time to consider how best to correctly manage your taxes and plan your tax affairs accordingly. I want to suggest that you seriously consider adopting a few tax related New Year’s resolutions that will improve your tax situation for the rest of the year by doing the following:

1. Become more informed about taxes. It is impossible to know the right moves to make in your tax planning without a basic knowledge of the tax implications of your actions. For example, learn what items you can, and cannot, deduct on your tax return, including the special items unique to your trade or profession and the rules governing any special situations that apply to you, especially exemptions and incentives. Tax laws, regulations and practices change on a regular basis. Talk to your TAX AGENT to make sure you're up-to-date and understand how any changes affect your business and the related tax obligations.

2. Do yourself a favour and review the tax returns you have filed during the last year for possible errors. If there’s a mistake, you may want to have it corrected by amending your returns. Note that you can amend your returns only within one year from the date of filing.

3. Keep good tax records that are detailed enough and satisfy the tax law requirements. Also ensure that they are kept in a manner that will be acceptable to URA. You may therefore want to set up a good system for maintaining tax records and receipts.

4. Appoint a registered Tax Agent. In all matters relating to tax compliance on behalf of a client taxpayer, the tax law requires Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to deal only with registered TAX AGENTS.

Have a prosperous year filled with tax savings!



Bobi Wine (MP Robert Kyagulanyi) has had the charges against him dropped by the State. This means that there is no longer a case against him regarding the charges that were brought against him.

To make it clear, it means that only the charges regarding that particular case that was brought against him, have been dropped. This is in regard to the case for which he was before the General Court Martial (regarding him allegedly being in possession of fi****ms).

If there is any other case against him however, it is not affected and may therefore still be brought against him.

We are gathering more information and will be able to explain further regarding what has happened today and the following steps.

BBC Africa on Twitter


Recently a sad and very (not even very but verree) strange story was shared about a healer in Guinea who charged women some good amount of money to help them get pregnant. She would mix concoctions of leaves and herbs and promise that the ladies would get pregnant. Unfortunately these women only ended up with fat bloated stomachs and not the babies they wanted. The healer was sentenced to 5 years in prison. When asked what she thought about what she had done to the ladies who had held “babies” for up to 12 months she said, “…for me I was doing what I could, the other work was for the ancestors…”

Doctors and other medical persons owe their patients a duty of care.


A Duty of care is a legal obligation or responsibility expected by an individual especially by virtue of their profession. This obligation requires that this person observe certain standards of reasonable care and caution while performing their duties and responsibilities in order not to bring any foreseeable harm to those they provide their services to.


Traditional healers ordinarily should owe their supposed clients a duty of care however since they are not regulated or specifically endorsed by any body or organisation it may be said that one who seeks services of such traditional healers may be said to have assumed a risk of any harm happening.

In the event that any harm or if any concoction given to a person does not work the traditional healer may not be charged with Negligence as a medical practitioner would. However they may be liable to criminal prosecution for having obtained money by false pretence in case an concoction or herbs were paid for by a supposed client.

For the link to the story about the Guinean traditional healer, click here

“A court in Guinea has sentenced a traditional healer to five years in prison for conning women into thinking they were pregnant. N'na Fanta Camara gave her victims a mixture of leaves, herbs and other medicines that caused them to bloat and look pregnant”



‘Marital r**e’, in its simplest terms is non-consensual s*x in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. The position of marital r**e is not settled in Uganda and is still an ongoing debate both in the social and legal corridors of the country.

Most people assume that by virtue of the fact that they are married, they are automatically entitled to have s*xual relations with their spouses. This is when marriage, that is meant to be a union between two people who love each other, ends up becoming trouble in paradise.

Even though “marital r**e” is not recognised under the law, forceful engagement of another in s*x within a marriage can amount to domestic violence and cruelty.

We pray that in the future, legal regard will be put into this issue of holding perpetrators accountable for non consensual s*x in marriage. We also hope that spouses will always respect, honour and love their partners. This way more marriages will be blissful.

Do you think law makers should provide for "marital r**e" within the law?



There's a road called the Entebbe Expressway being constructed to connect Entebbe to Kampala. The road is still officially closed but many times, a number of motorists are using it.

When you travel around Kampala, you'll notice that there are a number of roads which are still being constructed and yet at the same time, you find people drive on these roads.

But what if there's an accident on such a road, who will be held responsible? We will use the example of two roads under construction to see who can be held liable. But before we do that, let's first understand what negligence means.


In simple terms, Negligence happens when a person with a duty to do or take care of something fails to do so, and as a result, someone else suffers injury or death because of this failure.

For example, someone who is supposed to put a warning sign e.g Road under construction fails to do so, and as a result, a motorist gets an accident.


The law says that if an accident is caused as a result of another person's negligence, then the negligent person will bear responsibility, including making financial payments to the victim, or even imprisonment.



This road is still under construction and officially closed to all motorists but due to be opened later on in the year. All along the road are signs warning motorists not to use the road but despite this, a number of motorists still use the road.

If there's an accident in this case, then it might not be possible to sue the construction company because under the law, it is assumed that you unlawfully used the road, and knew of the dangers before.


During a road construction, there are some people who have legitimate permission to use the road e.g road construction people, construction service providers etc. If an accident happened to such people, and the accident was caused by the negligence of the construction company, then there's a chance that the Construction company could be be held liable.


It has been reported before that some motorists "bribe" their way by paying some construction officials to allow them access the road.

In such a case, if a motorist knows that the road is officially closed but goes ahead to make the "payment", then it might be difficult to get compensation in case of an accident.


This road is still under construction too, however, unlike the Entebbe Express highway, motorists are allowed to use it even when the construction is ongoing.

This means that in case a motorist gets an accident, and the accident is caused by negligence of the construction company e.g failure to put proper warning signs, unattended to construction equipment etc, then the constructor can be held liable.



The mobile money platform is operated on the basis of the mobile phone network, for which a mobile network operator is considered responsible. In a number of cases, the mobile network operator is actually the same company as the mobile money service provider (e.g. MTN, Airtel).

Users of mobile money also have obligations under the 2013 Mobile Money Guidelines. Customers are obliged to exercise due care when they make mobile money transactions and are advised to keep their PIN number secret.

Businesses that offer their customers the ability to pay with mobile money (mobile money merchants) are not mentioned under the 2013 Mobile Money Guidelines. Mobile money merchants are nevertheless expected to enter into agreements with mobile money service providers, and are governed by general terms and conditions on that basis.


To foster competition amongst mobile money companies, the 2013 Mobile Money Guidelines indicate that agreements between mobile money service providers, conventional financial institutions and agents cannot be exclusive. Mobile Money service providers should be able to work with different financial institutions and mobile money agents, and the other way around as well. Mobile money service providers also have to develop their platforms in a way that transactions can be executed between different mobile money schemes and users in different countries (interoperability).

The 2013 Guidelines also provide for strict rules for the protection of consumers when they are using mobile money schemes. The 2011 Financial Consumer Protection Guidelines also made applicable to mobile money services. As a result, mobile money service providers are obliged to provide for secure transactions, transparent terms of service, to protect their customers’ privacy and to provide for appropriate and effective procedures to handle complaints.


Remember Sanyu? If you did not get to read bout her problem please read the post we put up on this page at 8AM on 5th January 2018.

Prices of mobile money transactions are not governed under the 2013 Guidelines and mobile money service providers are thus not restricted in changing their prices. Nevertheless, under consumer protection rules, mobile money service providers must inform customers 30 days in advance of any changes in terms and conditions, including on changes in fees.

Sanyu should thus have been informed by her mobile money service provider and she can file a complaint with the mobile money service provider or one of its customers. If Sanyu is dissatisfied with the way the complaint is handled, she is even entitled to contact the Bank of Uganda.


Are you a business that allows customers to pay for goods or services with mobile money?

Are you a mobile money agent that works for a mobile money service provider?

Are you a customer of a mobile money company?

Have you ever experienced legal issues while using or when considering using a mobile money scheme? Please contact us and share your experience with us!



Sanyu, even though she turned 46 last month, is a tech savvy person. Sanyu has been using mobile money ever since the start of the first mobile money scheme in Uganda in 2009. To showcase her innovative behaviour, she even stopped using cash money in 2015 altogether and has been paying with mobile money for all purchases and bills ever since.

When buying passion fruits at the local market this morning she paid the market lady with mobile money. She is positively surprised when the market lady indicates that transaction rates have been reduced by 250 shillings. However, when buying YAKA credits for UMEME with mobile money later that day, it appears transaction rates have increased by 100 shillings!

Slightly confused, Sanyu confronts the mobile money agent in the kiosk in her street. The mobile money agent listens attentively to Sanyu’s complaints, but explains that the changes in transaction rates have been introduced by the mobile money service provider. Sanyu is unhappy with these changes, but the mobile money agent says that nothing can be done.

Who are these mobile money players and what is their role? Can they suddenly raise transaction fees or are they bound by regulations and oversight? This is what we want to find out with you in this series.


Every day millions of people in Uganda make use of financial services offered through mobile money. Mobile money was introduced in 2009 and several different mobile money schemes are now active in Uganda. In 2015 more than 21 million registered users made 693 million transactions with a value of more than 32.000 billion Uganda Shillings – a value similar to almost one third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Country in that year!



Would you be surprised if we said that although as shown earlier, the amount of money flowing through the mobile money systems is so large- the legal framework governing it is not yet very clear? Perhaps law makers have more urgent business- in any case, it is not for the ant to direct where the elephant must step.

The existing legislation we have found is that which establishes the Central Bank (Bank of Uganda) which deals with regulating the usual financial institutions such as banks. This is the 2004 Financial Institutions Act along with its Statutory Instruments (what lawyers call "SI")

Individual mobile money transactions are governed by the 2011 Electronic Transactions Act.


In 2013, the Central Bank adopted guidelines for mobile money schemes as a temporary measure to enable the operation of mobile money services. However, these are guidelines- they do not have the force of Parliament made laws- meaning you cannot enforce them in Court, but you can use them to complain to Bank of Uganda.


The 2013 Mobile Money Guidelines assign different roles and responsibilities to different mobile money players. The Guidelines clarify that the financial services offered through mobile money schemes are deemed to be provided by conventional financial institutions (e.g. banks), in partnership with mobile money service providers. Therefore, conventional financial institutions need to oversee activities of mobile money service providers from a financial perspective.

Mobile money service providers are considered responsible for operating the (technical) mobile money platform that is used for carrying out the mobile money transactions. Mobile money service providers are also responsible for putting in place agreements with conventional financial institutions, with their mobile money agents and with their customers.

These agreements are of a private contractual nature, but are also governed by the 2013 Mobile Money Guidelines. The Guidelines indicate for instance that mobile money agents can only deliver specific types of mobile money services. Agents are not allowed to perform any other mobile money functions and are not allowed to charge any fees directly to customers.



Here’s Derrick’s story. He had been with Maggie for a looooong time. They were so in love and decided to get married. A customary/traditional marriage ceremony was held. Families got together; people ate, people drank, people danced.

Fast forward about ten years later. Derrick met another hottie called Desire. He decided to marry her. Desire knew about Maggie but didn’t mind marrying a man who already had a wife. And so just like he had done with Maggie; a customary/traditional marriage ceremony was held. Families got together; people ate, people drank, people danced.
Maggie even attended.

Kati, things in the household started to become tricky. Things between Derrick and Maggie’s relationship started to turn VERRE (not even very but verre) sour. Derrick started to spend more and more time with only Desire.

Derrick had never married any of his wives in church and decided it was time to finally do that and picked his lovely Desire.

Is it lawful for Derrick to marry Desire in church?
Short answer, no.

Long answer:
Derrick married both Maggie and Desire customarily (traditional wedding). Since customary marriage is potentially polygamous, he can lawfully call both women his wives.

Derrick has now chosen to have a church wedding with Desire. Unfortunately for him, church marriages are monogamous (and for your information, so are Civil marriages). When a marriage is monogamous, the party contracting the marriage who in this case is Derrick should not have a subsisting marriage with another person. Maggie’s marriage is the subsisting one in this scenario so he cannot contract a church marriage (monogamous) with Desire.

It would have been different if Derrick had only married one woman customarily and wants to take the SAME WOMAN to church. This is allowed under the law however once someone has contracted a monogamous marriage they are totally off the shelf. And therefore cannot contract any other marriage with any other person unless the said marriage has been dissolved or a partner has died.

You therefore cannot marry a woman in church or at the registry and then marry another woman customarily/ traditionally. Once you go monogamous, there’s no looking back.

If Derrick decided to just marry his ka-sweet Desire in church, Madam Maggie could:
(a) Challenge his marriage to Desire
(b) Caveat their marriage

Don’t make mistakes that will cost you. A customary/traditional marriage/kwanjula/kuhingiira is a lawfully recognised marriage.

If you’re still scratching your head about the legalities surrounding traditional marriages, church marriages, even muslim marriages, you can head over to our inbox and leave a question there.




Which is Which!? (Imprisonment for life, 20 years imprisonment??!)

What is Imprisonment for Life!

Whereas the Penal code Act, Cap.120 doesn't define what is imprisonment for life, Section 86(3) of the Prisons Act, 2006, deems 'imprisonment for life' to be 20 years of imprisonment (for the purposes of calculating remission).

Uganda v Sheikh Yunus Kamoga & Others were charged of murder & terrorism, the high court acquitted all of murder but convicted Kamoga & 5 Others if terrorism. The High Court (Justices: Hon. Lady Percy Night Tuhaise, Hon. Mr. Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Hon. Lady Jane Kiggundu) sentenced Kamoga & 3 others to "life imprisonment"

(Literary this sentence is not defined under the law, Section 26 (1&2) Penal Code Act, Cap. 120, its "imprisonment for life, and therefore contravenes A. 28(12) of the Constitution).

The supreme court of Uganda in Livingston Kakooza v Ug SC Criminal Appeal No.17 of 1993 equally held that 'imprisonment for life' means 20 years imprisonment.

On the other hand, the same supreme court in 2009 in the case of Tigo Stephen v Ug SC Criminal Appeal No. 08 of 2009 held that 'imprisonment for life' means imprisonment for the 'entire natural life of the convict'.
Despite the Tigo Stephen Judgement being recent, the supreme didn't discuss let alone pronounce in the Livingston Kakooza judgement to be a wrong decision (overrule it). This literary means 'we' operate on two (2) conflicting decisions.

The Constitutional (sentencing Guidelines for courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions, 2013, Paragraph (4) defines 'imprisonment for life to mean "imprisonment for natural life of an offender"

Meanwhile, as prisons, the dilemma is beyond the new trends as "they continue converting imprisonment for life to (20) years imprisonment despite the sentencing guidelines (2013), the spirit behind the Penal Code Act, Cap. 120 & the Tigo case (supra).

In Kisembo Patrick v Ug CA Criminal Appeal No. 411 of 2014 the court of Appeal in Fort Portal seem to rely on Tigo case & the sentencing guidelines. But this is not enough since the Stephen Kakooza judgement still stands & S.86(3) Prisons Act is not amended.

Their lordships in their unanimous Judgment writes;
" The maximum sentence of terrorism under Section (7)(b) Anti Terrorism Act,2002 is DEATH..... We thinkits appropriate to sentence the convicts to a)"...Kamoga, Kalungi Kawoya (etc) to life imprisonment for ALL THEIR LIVES ON EARTH..."

The intention of their Lordships is clear, "imprisonment for entire life" as espoused in the sentencing guidelines which is 'imprisonment for life'. Had the law been clear the Judges would not try to loop the existing lacuna by call it 'life imprisonment & annexing it with "FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES."

From the foregoing, its equally possible that Kamoga & 3 others on 'life imprisonment' are likely to come out of Prison earlier than the co-accused sentenced to 30 years as Prisons Authority under S. 86(3) Prisons Act (supra) administers life imprisonment as 20 years to which remission of about 6 years shall be given. Meaning that Kamoga (& 3 Ors) shall serve only 14 years in prison whereas the two co- accused shall get remission on 30 years of about 8 years hence serving a maximum of 22 years compared to 14 years of Kamoga & Co.

My appeal is therefore to; either the Supreme court to conclusively deal with the Dilemma or the Parliament, to repeal S.86(3) of the Prisons Act, 2006.

NOTE: In our laws there is nothing like 'Life Imprisonment' as always misconstrued, its 'Imprisonment for (natural) life. In fact, 'life imprisonment' is a sentence not defined under the law.

For God and My Country



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HEY THERE THIS MAUREEN AKELLO DOING LAW AT KIU 0778782036 i would like to join ur association and do ma practice wit u guys