Dear friend, I hope you are fine. Thank you for all the good work you are doing in this world. May you be blessed abundantly for your positive contribution towards human advancement and wellbeing. Thank you, and congratulations.
I humbly request you to kindly assist me financially, logistically, technically and/or otherwise, in my campaign dubbed, SAVE REMAND PRISONERS IN UGANDA PRISONS. For detailed information about this campaign, if it pleases you, please refer to the concept note below this message. Suffice to say, however, that the inordinately large number of remand prisoners awaiting trial in Uganda is a big blow to the integrity of the country’s judicial system, and definitely undermines its development aspirations, since injustice breeds poverty, and vice versa.
I am without doubt that this campaign will be very successful if embarked upon, because just recently – last year and early this year – I successfully pursued two campaigns against corruption, ineptitude, cruelty, oppression and tyranny in some sections of our judiciary and school system. Again, if it pleases you, refer to these links – http://bbbakampa.blogspot.ug/2014/05/complaint-concerning-under-performance_10.html and http://bbbakampa.blogspot.ug/2015/02/rampant-corruption-at-nakawa-high-court.html – for more information about the said campaigns.
In his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr said that, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ Dr King was undoubtedly right, because in today’s globalized world, the intolerable plight of remand prisoners in Uganda inevitably impinges on progress everywhere else, for instance, through retarded development, since many of them could otherwise be doing more profitable work as other free people, thereby contributing to global economic development.
This campaign will expand the frontiers of human freedom, which is more the reason we need to work together, by God’s grace, to further human rights and defeat poverty, by opening prison doors and unbolting iron gates, to set free our fellow human beings, who are held captive by an unjust, covetous, proud, pompous, and deceptive system.
My personal motto is, It’s Possible. I, therefore, now say to you, dear friend, that it’s possible for us to succeed in this noble endeavour.
Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
CONCEPT NOTE ON CAMPAIGN TO SAVE REMAND PRISONERS IN UGANDA PRISONS
I am, together with other progressive, reformist, and transformational Ugandans, organizing a nation-wide activist campaign to save thousands of prisoners, who are languishing in Uganda’s prisons. The campaign will mobilize and organize people in Uganda, in a spirit of activism, to raise awareness on:–
(a) the plight of remand prisoners, and the human rights of people in conflict with the law;
(b) developing strategies to solve the challenges in the administration of justice; and
(c) the need for public accountability by judicial and other government institutions, and administrators in the performance of judicial roles.
Thousands of people are unfairly, and really illegally, detained on remand in many prisons all over Uganda. A recent study found that 55% of prisoners have not been tried. Painfully, many of these prisoners have been detained for as long as five or more years (a whole general electoral term), with little hope of ever appearing before a judicial officer for hearing and determination of the cases against them. This very is detrimental to Uganda’s development aspirations.
The Government of Uganda has made commendable efforts in developing policies and institutional frameworks for the administration of justice, although a lot more remains to be desired especially, in terms of implementation. The judiciary continues to perform dismally in its core mandate of administering justice, particularly criminal justice. The judicial system is faced with many challenges, which the administrators, and indeed, several analysts and observers, blame on largely far-fetched excuses, like insufficient judges and magistrates to handle the bulk of judicial work; yet the actual problem is internal and self-inflicted inefficiency due to poor work ethic, abuse of power, corruption, and utter contempt and disregard for the people, among others. Before us is a system of high-grade, and de facto legalized racketeers, who are condescending and inconsiderate of common people.
Overcoming these challenges requires collective action from members of the public, in collaboration with different friendly reformist and transformational stakeholders, including – interestingly and fortunately – progressive actors in the judicial system itself.
To achieve this, however, requires extensive and deliberate efforts to mobilize and organize the masses and other organized players to rise up, demand and ensure efficiency in the performance of judicial work, and to discuss and develop realistic strategies and action plans to overcome existing challenges.
It is from this background that I am organizing a spirited nationwide Campaign to Save Remand Prisoners in Uganda Prisons, modeled on the previous hugely successful campaign against the cruelty, oppression, and tyranny of the Law Development Centre. (Visit http://bbbakampa.blogspot.ug/2014/05/complaint-concerning-under-performance_10.html).
3. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF THE CAMPAIGN
There are four main objectives of this campaign, namely:–
(a) To raise awareness, among the people of Uganda, of the need to pick keen interest in judicial and public affairs, by specifically demanding accountability from their leaders;
(b) To ensure that the thousands of prisoners on remand in Uganda’s prisons receive justice, by having the cases against them heard and determined expeditiously;
(c) To reform and transform Uganda’s judicial system, by making it truly pro-people, accountable, dynamic, and responsive to the needs of the people, for whom it is established and called to serve; and
(d) To establish viable networks, and build synergies with relevant stakeholders like judicial administrators, parliamentarians, policy makers, civil society organizations, and development partners, to discuss and implement long-term and sustainable strategies to overcome challenges facing Uganda’s justice system, in a spirit of beyond rhetoric, by being doers of the word, not just hearers of the word.
4. EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF THE CAMPAIGN
There are four major outcomes expected from this campaign, namely:–
(a) Enhanced public consciousness and engagement in the operations of the judicial system. Participants are expected to improve their knowledge and understanding of the need for public scrutiny in the working of the justice system, as a necessary check against judicial abuses and incompetence.
(b) The thousands of prisoners on remand in Uganda’s prisons will receive justice, by having their cases heard and determined expeditiously.
(c) A reformed and transformed judicial system that is efficient, truly pro-people, accountable, dynamic, and responsive to the needs of the people, for whom it is established and called to serve.
(d) More coordination among relevant players in the justice system, driven more by action and follow-up, but not largely mere empty rhetoric.
5. FORMAT OF THE CAMPAIGN
The campaign will be organized in form of public discussion sessions in both rural, and urban settings, frank interactions with judicial administrators, and lobbying policy makers to ensure that the above objectives are achieved.
The topics for discussion will rotate around how to ensure a people-oriented judicial system that is efficient and progressive.
Participants are expected to discuss workable strategies and meaningful actions to improve justice delivery in Uganda, and beyond (e.g. the East African Community).
6. ABOUT ME
I am a lawyer, and team leader of a pressure group called Friends International – Uganda, composed of progressive, reformist and transformational Ugandans, working in conjunction with friends and allies around the world. We advocate and pursue public solutions for public problems, through individual and public activism, as a necessary tool for promoting and ensuring efficient public service delivery. This philosophy forms the ideological base of Friends International – Uganda.
Bakampa Brian BARYAGUMA
Team Leader, Friends International – Uganda