The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) has handed over office equipment including laptops and chairs to Khadi courts in the Busoga region, to help them in adjudicating cases of gender based violence.
With support from Irish Aid, IRCU gave each of the eastern districts of Iganga, Jinja, Mayuge, Kamuli and Bugiiri a motorcycle, five plastic chairs, an office desk, computer and locker.
According to the specialist of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Prevention programme, Mr. Edwin Kayuki, the purpose of these equipment is to help provide safe storage of information and also create a comfortable atmosphere for hearing cases.
The IRCU Secretary General. Mr. Joshua Kitakule, encouraged the religious leaders to record all proceedings in the computers for easy reference and also include more women representatives on the plenary of the Khadi courts.
“It is important that our courts be constituted with women because they are our mothers and wives, and are most affected by gender based violence,” Mr. Kitakule said.
Khadi Courts are minor courts as recognized by the constitution of Uganda under Article 129, as one of the subordinate Courts of judicature exercising judicial power to deal with matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance of property and guardianship.
In April this year, IRCU carried out an assessment study with representatives from the Muslim faith in the districts of Jinja, Bugiiri, Kamuli, Iganga and Mayuge, to find out amongst other things, how Khadi courts can be facilitated to perform their work better.
Those particular districts were chosen mostly because of the existence of community structures, the high GBV burden in Busoga region, and the existence of synergies from other reputable organizations delivering GBV related interventions in the region.
Speaking as the chief guest as the handover ceremony, Sheikh Dr. Baloode Abdu-Khadi, who was also representing the Mufti of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, thanked IRCU and Irish Aid for the support to Khadi courts which is also a symbol of unity.
“Religious leaders should continue working together to develop society because this is what God requires of us,’ he said.
Sheikh Baloode also called upon the religious leaders not to resolve cases when hungry or angry, and also to be good listeners and objective, because this affects how fair they will be when settling matters.