Rights Defenders and Promotion Organization

Rights Defenders and Promotion Organization its a human rights based organization dealing with promotion and protection of fundamental human rig

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Incredible and great job done by Staff of Pluralism Immigrant Services


Christmas Greetings

The Board of Trustees, Management and Staff of Rights Defenders and Promotion Organization

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year Full of Happiness and Joy

Thank you for your continued support and relentless effort in the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights and Freedom in Africa and around the globe.

Continue to be Safe during this Festive Season with God's abundant blessings



The recent concluded Human Rights Day on December 10, 2021, should be a day to reflect, demand, protect and advance human rights. The organization motto is a replica of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration which reaffirms that;

'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights'

However, most governments and agencies around the world have turned their citizens into a chess board and move them at your whims. One of the greatest Genevan Philosopher by the name, Jean Jacques Rousseau once stated in his works; 'The Social Contract', that;

'Man is born free but he is everywhere in chains'

Rousseau asserts that; modern states repress the physical freedom that is our birthright, and do nothing to secure the civil freedom for the sake of which we enter into civil society.'

While many countries recognize human rights, democracy and the rule of law as the basis for resilient and stable societies, many people around the world are still unaware of the existence of the UDHRs and the rights enshrined therein. As a result, many human rights abuses go unreported, unchallenged and therefore no redress is sought due to lack of knowledge of the existence of the human rights instruments and treaties.

As an organization, we continue to echo to national governments, partner organizations and to staff to protect and promote human rights. Government should bring the perpetrators including errant police officers and military officers who trump upon the rights of innocent citizens.

The promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms is a collective responsibility and it most always be a top priority for States as primary duty bearers. The role of Non-State Actors in addressing discrimination and inequalities cannot be over-emphasized as they continue to play complimentary roles in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Course on Environmental, Social and Corporate GovernanceThe demand for Environmental, Social and Corporate governance (E...
ESG course registration - Formstack

Course on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The demand for Environmental, Social and Corporate governance (ESG) criteria in investing has seen exponential growth in recent years. The ESG trend, and the incentives it creates for businesses and investors provide unique advocacy opportunities for civil society to influence institutional investment policies and corporate behaviors with unprecedented efficacy and precision.

We therefore encourage all environmental activists, human right defenders and social activists to participate and register for this online course.

For more details, please follow the link below;

This training will provide an overview and context of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) as a current phenomenon in order to outline opportunities it offers for civil society for fostering social change, advocacy, and influence over businesses in contributing to positive social ch...

Smartsheet Forms

Apply now for ISHR's Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme

Are you a human rights defender keen to use the UN to push for change at home?

If so, this opportunity might be just what you need to further increase your impact on the ground!

After two successful online editions in 2020 and 2021, ISHR is pleased to launch the call for applications for the third online edition of the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP), which will take place remotely between 4 April and 24 June 2022.

The course equips human rights defenders with the knowledge and skills to integrate the UN human rights system into their existing work at the national level in a strategic manner. It also provides an opportunity for participants to prepare for and engage in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN with the aim to create change back home.

Follow the link below to apply now:

Christian Climate Observers Program (CCOP) 2021The final day of COP26 has come to an end in Glasgow, yet the challenging...
Reporting from COP26 — Christian Climate Observers Program (CCOP) 2021

Christian Climate Observers Program (CCOP) 2021

The final day of COP26 has come to an end in Glasgow, yet the challenging negotiations may extend to Sunday. Let's continue to pray for the delegates and world leaders: for strength, courage, and wisdom to act now in pursuit of a just and sustainable future. 🌍
We are partnered with the Christian Climate Observers Program-CCOP, whose COP26 newsletters give a daily look from the ground. Catch up to these updates—several authored by our Canadian representatives—here:

We have more highlights, reflections, and calls to action to come, so stay tuned in the next week!

Week Two Newsletters 11/12 Daily Update: click here11/11 Daily Update: click here11/10 Daily Update: click here11/9 Daily Update: click here11/8 Daily Update: click hereWeek One Newsletters11/5 Daily Update: click here11/4 Daily Update: click here11/3 Daily Update: click here 11/2 Daily Update: clic...

Call to Protect the Environment for Future Sustainability Our Environmental Manager, Mr. Samula Abdul Magidh during the ...

Call to Protect the Environment for Future Sustainability

Our Environmental Manager, Mr. Samula Abdul Magidh during the Rights Defenders and Promotion Organization Environment Initiative held a workshop on Friday, 12th November, 2021. He donated tree seedlings to the locals and farmers of Mityana District and called upon all Ugandans to protect and conserve our beautiful environment for sustainability and the next generation. He also called upon the government to stop giving out forests to investors which destruction of forests have greatly affected the climate and nature. He said that; "There is need for government to support the locals by providing them with tree seedlings and encouraging more tree planting to protect the ecosystem and the environment since natural calamities around the world or Uganda are as a result of poor environmental practices which has affected human habitation and caused massive displacement”.

He also thanked the campaign drive by AROCHA-CANADA in helping to educate environmental activists around the world since knowledge and research is key in the protection of out beautiful environment.

As Rights Defenders and Promotion Organization, we lead by example and it is our duty to teach, educate and protect the environment.

Call for Consultation by The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights. Follow the link below for more information;h...
CALL FOR A CONSULTANT – The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies

Call for Consultation by The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights. Follow the link below for more information;

Call for a Consultant (Facilitator)BackgroundThe African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) is an independent, pan-African regional human rights organization established in 1989 and based in Banjul, The Gambia. The African Centre upholds and promotes Article 25 of the African Cha...

Condemnation of the Arrest of a Human Rights Lawyer in Uganda.Its an absurdity that the Uganda Security Apparatus have a...

Condemnation of the Arrest of a Human Rights Lawyer in Uganda.

Its an absurdity that the Uganda Security Apparatus have arrested a renown human rights lawyer, Nicolas Opio on allegations of "money laundering and malicious charges". and currently under police custody.

As human rights defenders, we echo to the government of Uganda and the Uganda police to respect the rights of the suspect and his well-being while under police custody as enshrined under the Constitution of Uganda.

The suspect should be accorded access to his family, lawyer and doctor. The due process of the law should be adhered to and we continue to call upon the Uganda government to create a cordial environment for HRDs and civil society organizations to freely operate in a democracy.

Uganda is a signatory to the UN Conventions and the African Charter on human rights and should therefore respect its obligation under these international and regional instruments.

Free Opio Nicolas Free Opio Nicolas Free Opio Nicolas

Climate Change Initiative Climate Change Activists and Human Rights Advocate!!!JOIN THE LAUNCH OF THE AFRICA CLIMATE ACT...
Ride in support of ACAI

Climate Change Initiative

Climate Change Activists and Human Rights Advocate!!!


African communities will be hit hardest by the climate crisis even while contributing the least to global carbon emissions. Indeed, the continent has contributed only 2-3% of GHG emissions, yet communities across the continent are already being hard hit by droughts and flooding - and accompanying challenges including huge locust infestations, food insecurity, health challenges, conflicts and forced displacement.

But many groups in Africa are working hard to adapt and build resilience. We are launching the Africa Climate Action Initiative (ACAI) as an initiative of the Canada Africa Partnership Network to support these much needed efforts!

The ACAI seeks to promote climate action in Africa by partnering with African organizations working on climate change issues to share capacity building and resources. The ACAI is looking for volunteers to join and support our initiative!! Check the opportunities here, and if you are interested please contact Sarah Kamau and Katie Fettes at [email protected]

Please join us for the online launch of the initiative on Thursday May 7th, 2020 at 6pm EDT to learn more, support & get involved | Livestream:

Eventbrite Register:
Facebook event:
Learn more & support:
To join our fundraising bikeathon (taking place June 6-7):

Together, we stand for climate action and resilience. Together, we imagine a healthy and regenerative Africa and future!

Ride in support of the Africa Climate Action Initiative! Africa is the continent the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which is causing food insecurity, health challenges, poverty, conflicts and forced migration. The Africa Climate Action Initiative seeks to promote and accelerate ....

Refugee LGBTQ Activists at High Risk in UgandaUganda as a country that criminalizes homos*xuality continues to threaten,...

Refugee LGBTQ Activists at High Risk in Uganda

Uganda as a country that criminalizes homos*xuality continues to threaten, discriminate and witch-hunt LGBTQ refugees. These vulnerable persons suffer double persecution not only as forced migrants but face criminal prosecution for being gender minorities coupled with threats of asylum revocation of their refugee status determination from the Refugee Directorate under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The recent spat and attack on Angels Refugee Support Group, a community based refugee organization and human rights activists (activistes des droits de i'homme) headed by Mr. Bibe Kalalu, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a clear manifestation of increased homophobia on s*xual minorities in Uganda. The attack on the organization caused havoc and mayhem which resulted to the death of one of its members in Kampala.

As a human rights organization, we highly condemn the impunity meted on refugees and other Ugandans fighting for LGBTQ inclusiveness, equality and tolerance. We call upon the government of Uganda to Stop Hate against LGBTQ persons and vulnerable refugees. Uganda has the mandate to protect rather than sow the seeds of hate against such persons of concern.

Furthermore, We call upon the government of Uganda and other refugee related agencies like UNHCR and OPM to investigate the cold blooded murder and bring the perpetrators to justice. Similarly, UNHCR should come up with a permament solution preferably resettlement, as a durable solution to LGBTQ refugees in Uganda.

Condemning police brutality in UgandaThe Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or P...

Condemning police brutality in Uganda

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment outlaws all forms of torture, inhuman or degrading punishment however Uganda as a signatory to the Convention through its state operatives and the police have tremendously failed to adhere to these core principles. Uganda police and security operatives in Uganda are the number one human rights violators as per the Uganda Human Rights Commission Report.

The Uganda Police has heavily meted high handedness and brutality toward opposition MPs, Human Rights Activists/Defenders and Young democrats who have taken courage and stood strong to fight against the despotic regime, high levels of corruption and surging youth unemployment. The recent crackdown on FDC Youth Mobilizer and People Power Supporter Sekajiri Raymond and others including his wife Nalubega Justine is a clear manifestation that the authoritarian regime is not ready to relinquish power. We call upon the government and the state operatives like the police to restrain from the use of torture and unreasonable force against civilian population.

The legal strategy enhances access to justice with litigants in position to receive justice expeditiously.
Debt Collection in Small Claims Court | LegalShield

The legal strategy enhances access to justice with litigants in position to receive justice expeditiously.

Debt collection is one of the most common legal issues faced by small business owners. In addition to the effect unpaid invoices have on your bottom line, debt collection can be stressful and time consuming. Your LegalShield provider law firm is ready to help by drafting collection letters on your b...


Indian Supreme Court Ruling

We applaud the Indian Supreme Court for its profound boldness in reaching a justiciable land mark case on its pronouncement on the protection of fundamental human rights and freedom of gender minorities in India.

The Justices of the Supreme Court ruled to the effect that;
‘Fundamental rights to dignity of all individuals must be protected without which other rights would be meaningless’

Mr. Stanley Atona, a human rights lawyer and an expert on migration and s*xuality, welcomed the decision with lots of positivity and further reiterated that ‘while we celebrate let’s remember that this decision comes from a journey or struggle of over 18 years. Let’s also step back to recognize that this decision is not an end to the struggle but the beginning of a new phase of the struggle’.

Therefore human right activists should continue with their struggle in finding everlasting solutions and tolerance for all s*xual minorities around the world. Further courts should look at this landmark case and precedent in the protection and enjoyment of the basic human rights for s*xual minorities and other marginalized people at heightened risk by repressive authoritarian regimes.

We condemn Violence in Arua By-ElectionsThe recent concluded Arua by-election has witnessed sporadic violence and lawles...

We condemn Violence in Arua By-Elections

The recent concluded Arua by-election has witnessed sporadic violence and lawlessness that saw several Opposition Members of Parliament, including Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka, Bobi Wine, arrested and the shooting dead of his driver in Arua.

The arrested Opposition MPs and there supporters were arbitrarily arrested, tortured detained in ungazetted areas and charged with treason. For instance, MP Robert Kyagulanyi and MP Zaake.

Article 1 (1) of United Nations Convention Against Torture of which Uganda is a signatory stipulates as follows:

“The term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted
on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such
pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."

Similarly Article 24 and 44 of Uganda Constitution outlaws derogation from particular human rights and freedoms and Respect for human dignity and protection from inhuman treatment. It stipulates that;

No person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The same 1995 Constitution as amended 2000 further enumerates that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty (presumption of innocence) and the right to a fair hearing entails; production in court before 48 hours, accused has a right to be visited by his spouse, relatives or lawyer, Has a right of access to medical treatment and in the case of any offence which carries a sentence of death or imprisonment for life, be entitled to legal representation at the expense of the State;

First and foremost as a human rights organization, we condemn all sorts of violence in whatever form.

Secondly, we call upon the Museveni regime and the government of Uganda to include Security Operatives(CMI, ESO and DESO), Police and Special Forces to restrain from excessive violence and abuse of fundamental human rights and freedoms of all the suspects incarcerated and the general public.

Election is the responsibility of Uganda Electoral Commission which must be exercised in conformity with the law and Must be exercised in a manner which is Free and Fair.

Uganda is a democratic state which has to respect the rule of law, uphold fundamental human rights and freedoms of all including gullible people and Opposition MPs coupled with denouncing torture in whatever form.


Homophobic pastor Scott Lively Appeal rejected by the United States Court of Appeal of 2017 Suit.

A year after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against gay-hating Scott Lively by a group representing LGBT citizens of Uganda, a federal appeals court has ruled that the judge's condemnation of his "crackpot bigotry" is no reason to overturn the ruling - because he won the case.

Angered by the judge's criticisms of his writings that g**s have been responsible for everything from the Spanish Inquisition and slavery to the Holocaust, and that homos*xuality is worse than mass murder, Lively appealed US District Court Judge Michael Ponsor's ruling that a group of gay and le***an Ugandans had no standing to sue Lively over his role in drafting that country's draconian anti-gay law, because Lively did not do the bulk of his work on the legislation in the US.

In his ruling, Ponsor took great pains to emphasize he was deciding only the technical question of who can sue a US citizen for action overseas, not siding with Lively's arguments:

Anyone reading this memorandum should make no mistake. The question before the court is not whether Defendant's actions in aiding and abetting efforts to demonize, intimidate and injure LGBTI people in Uganda constitute violations of international law. They do. The much narrower and more technical question posted by Defendant's motion is whether the limited actions taken by Defendant on American soil in pursuit of his odious campaign are sufficient to give this court jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims. Since they are not sufficient, summary judgment is appropriate for this, and only this, reason.

In his appeal, Lively argued such comments had harmed and were continuing to harm his reputation and asked the appeals court to strike them from the record.

In reply, a three-judge appeals panel said Ponsor's comments were "dicta" - or statements that did not apply directly to the ultimate ruling or set any precedent and so not something subject to appeal. And the court said striking them would go against precedent that appeals courts normally only consider appeals from parties who have lost a case.

World Refugee DayAs an organization dealing with gender minorities, refugees and defacto refugees around the world, we w...

World Refugee Day

As an organization dealing with gender minorities, refugees and defacto refugees around the world, we want to commemorate this day to all forced migrants including accompanied minors, unaccompanied minors and women who have lost their lives during the perilous journey across Africa to Europe or Australia in such of durable solutions and everlasting peace and freedom.

We say that the lives of refugees do matter and we call upon UNHCR and other responsible actors within the forced migration arena to come up with concrete measures and more funding in bettering, protection and finding everlasting solution to refugee phenomenon across Africa and the world at large.

We shall continue providing services to forced migrants in the field of legal protection, policy advocacy and capacity building both to refugee hosting communities, local organizations and refugees themselves to enhance their skills and acquire more knowledge to continue demanding for their rights and better services in Uganda.

Therefore refugees need to live a dignified life with the minimum basic qualities of life to include food, shelter, medical, and education for refugee children.

For God and my country

State of Torture in UgandaArticle 24 of 1995 Uganda Constitution deals with Respect for human dignity and protection fro...

State of Torture in Uganda

Article 24 of 1995 Uganda Constitution deals with Respect for human dignity and protection from inhuman treatment. This Provision is to the effect that; No person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Further the 1995 Ugandan Constitution explicitly outlaws the holding of detainees in unacknowledged or “ungazetted” places of detention, that is, those not published in the official gazette. Police stations are gazetted facilities. UPDF barracks and CMI offices are not gazetted facilities. The other “safe houses” where the non-police agencies hold like Nalufenya in Jinja, interrogate, and torture suspects are not gazetted and are illegal.
Before 1995, safe houses had been commonly used for detention; some were then closed, but they are now being used again.

As Rights Defenders and Promotion Organization dates the re-emergence of safe houses to 1998, during the 1997-99 wave of terrorist bomb attacks in Kampala believed by the security forces to be associated with the western-based rebel group ADF. We highly condemn the torture orchestrated by police and security operatives in Uganda and refrain them from arbitrary arrests, use of unreasonable force and illegal detention. Mr. Stanley Atona, Senior Legal Advisor based in Canada laments that torture in any form cannot be tolerated in our society and it is the state responsibility and the Uganda Human Rights Commission to condemn such impunity and heinous acts against innocent civilians since they are mere suspects who havent been pronouced guilty.

The Constitutional provision requiring gazetting of all places of detention is now not enforced at all. Suspects are routinely taken to ungazetted places of detention, many of them in the capital, Kampala, for prolonged periods, without any official condemnation or effort to close them down. The two most commonly-cited safe houses are the headquarters of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) on Kitante Road in Kampala, and a house on Clement Hill Road in Kampala, formerly used as the headquarters for Operation Wembley.157 Rooms, cells, and offices in military barracks are also frequently used as safe houses as well coupled with Nalufenya, which has become a notorious torture chamber by police.


Universal Periodic Review

Uganda to be reviewed on November 3, 2016 on its human rights situation at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Universal Periodic Review "has great potential to promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world.” – Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.

The Universal Periodic Review "will be categorically significant at a time when constitutionalism is at crossroads in Uganda which has resulted into the breakdown in the rule of law and single handedness by the police, militia groups and different security operatives coupled with enactment of drocanian laws and proposal of new bills in Parliament which has undermined the rule of law and fundamental human rights and freedoms"- Stanley Atona, Executive Director, Rights Defenders and Promotion Organization.

The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council itself. It is a cooperative process which, by October 2011, has reviewed the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists. The UPR is one of the key elements of the Council which reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.


Election Day in Uganda

As human rights organization we call upon all stakeholders to observe and obey the law for the better of civilian population which will result into peace during this crucial Presidential Elections February 18, 2016.

We restrain the Police and other security agents from using violence, brutality and arbitrary arrests as mandated by the Constitution of Uganda and other enabling Statutes.

Say No to Violence Say Yes to Peace!!!


RDPO wishes to extend it's festive season greetings to all our clients, staff, organizations and the whole world who stood with us in the protection and promotion of fundamental human rights and freedom, We strongly oppose any form of violence and discrimination come 2016. Merry X-Mas and a Prosperous New Year


Human Rights Council dispatches expert mission to investigate human rights abuses in Burundi

(Geneva, 17 December 2015) - The Human Rights Council today dispatched an expert mission to investigate violations and abuses of human rights committed in Burundi.

In a US-led resolution adopted by consensus at a special Human Rights Council session today, the Council mandated the High Commissioner for Human Rights to put together an expert mission to Burundi, to investigate abuses and make recommendations to the Council and the Burundian government on ways of ending serious human rights violations.

Following on the heels of Security Council and African Union efforts to bring an end to the political crisis, the special session came after repeated demands by civil society, including ISHR, for the rapidly deteriorating situation to be addressed formally by the UN’s top human rights body.

‘We welcome the initiative to - finally - enhance the UN’s human rights monitoring and investigation role, and to increase the political pressure on Burundi to end attacks on human rights defenders, peaceful protesters and the media,’ said Michael Ineichen, ISHR Head of Human Rights Council Advocacy.

'It is critical that the OHCHR mission puts the protection of human rights defenders and civil society at the center of its attention’, Mr Ineichen said.

In a statement to the Human Rights Council during the special session, ISHR welcomed the enhanced UN human rights monitoring and investigation role envisaged in the resolution.

There was widespread support by a number of States for the special session of the Council and efforts to address this crisis. Ireland deplored attempts to silence dissent and called on Burundi to create the required circumstances to facilitate an inter-Burundian dialogue – noting that ‘Justice, accountability and ending impunity are essential’.

Kenya described the situation in Burundi as a ‘deep spiraling political crisis’ and welcomed recent efforts - including the special session of the Council and the recent initiative at the Security Council - to resolve the conflict. At the time of writing the resolution was co-sponsored by four African States: Kenya, Ghana, Senegal and the Central African Republic.

Referring to Mandela’s statement ‘for how long shall we kill our own people’, Ghana welcomed the special session of the Council as well as a consensus resolution, highlighting that ‘we cannot remain indifferent’.

The resolution underlines the complementarity and coordination of the Council’s efforts with other efforts of the United Nations, the African Union and other appropriate regional and international entities. In a press-release after its recent visit to Burundi, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights underscored the ‘importance of the presence of neutral monitors’ and called for an increase of human rights observers and military experts.

‘The statement by the African Commission indicates that the presence of and close monitoring by the international community in Burundi is vital to avoid further bloodshed,’ said Clement Voulé, Head of ISHR’s Africa program.

Burundi was recently elected to be a member of the Human Rights Council from 2016. While the resolution adopted touched on this issue, it remains week in this respect by merely urging Burundi to ‘be mindful’ of the obligation on members to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights’.

‘We regret the Council’s failure to explicitly state member States’ obligation to cooperate with it, and condition Burundi’s membership on doing so,’ said Michael Ineichen.

‘Full cooperation by the authorities with the urgent OHCHR mission, and an immediate halt to the serious human rights violations, should be a prerequisite for Burundi to commence its term on 1 January,’ Mr Ineichen said.


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The Congo Crisis and Forced Displacement

The situation in refugee settlements of Congolese refugees and asylum seekers is worrying while UNHCR has not done enough to resolve most of these pressing needs for human habitation and dignity. Therefore these forced migrants in Goma are crying out for suppport to enable them address some of these underlying problems including the plight of children and the survivors of s*xual and gender based violence. Follow the link below in order to support such persons of concern;

Donate to refugee women project in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo http://
Send me your address so that I can send my address [email protected] telephone number is+256774497747




+256 702 440 264 +256 776 368 917
He was already in court and fiddling with his phone as many of us do, when we come to court on time.

One look at him and you could tell he was a young lawyer, probably sent by his principal in chambers to get an adjournment or handle a harmless motion.

Some minutes later, the judge came in and the business of the day begins. His case is called first since the lawyer on the other side is a senior lawyer.

The parties are present and both lawyers announce their appearance. My young friend is counsel for the plaintiff.

Court: Yes, counsel, why are we in court today?

Counsel: my Lord, this matter is for mention and we will like to take a date for hearing.

Court: Counsel, are you sure that is the correct position? My records show that this week is for definite hearing. In fact, it has been adjourned severally at the instance of your client, before it was adjourned to today for definitely hearing. Mr. XYZ (opposing counsel) is that correct?

Opposing Counsel: my Lord, your records are correct. This matter was adjourned to today for definite hearing and counsel for the plaintiff was in court when this date was taken.

Court: Counsel, you have heard the true position of this matter. It is for definite hearing and we should make progress today. Call your first witness.

At this time, my young friend is sweating in a court that is fully air conditioned. This was not what his principal told him and worse of all, he doesn't know what the case is all about.

Counsel: my Lord, I am very sorry Sir. I can't go on with the matter since my principal in chambers did not instruct me to do so. My Lord, may I humbly ask for a very short date to enable my principal come and do the matter personally.

The opposing counsel is already jumping to his feet to oppose the application but the court is faster.

Court: Your application for adjournment is denied. It is either you go on with your matter or I will strike it out with cost against your client. By the way, did you look at the cause list when you came in to court?

Counsel: No my Lord.

Court: If you had bothered to do so, you would have seen that your matter was listed for definite hearing. Can we now go on?

Counsel: my Lord, may I apply for the matter to be stood down, so that I can contact my principal.

Court: this matter is stood down for 20 minutes.

The young man flies out of court to call his principal. This was not what he bargained for.

5 minutes later, he comes in looking downcast. His principal's phone is switched off and he is in a dilemma.

If he goes on with the matter and something goes wrong, his principal will have his head. If he applies for adjournment, the judge will not grant it. If the matter is struck out, the client, whose face was already looking like that of a masquerade, would have his hide.

Literally and figuratively, he was in between the devil and the deep blue sea. He was in and out of court but it was obvious that he could not get his principal on phone.

Finally, he went out with the case file and we thought he had gone to read the file and at least 'take a bite at the cherry' (as lawyers would say).

30 minutes later, his matter is recalled and his client runs out to call him, but comes back looking confused.

The young lawyer is nowhere to be found and his phone is switched off.

He left and never came back.

What did the judge do? He bursted into laughter and other lawyers joined him.

Obviously, this was a first for the judge and most of us seated at the bar.


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