“Laws cannot solve every conflict. Some disputes such as strikes require negotiations and mutual considerations,” Aggrey Mpora, a lecturer at Cavendish University Uganda counselled.
His comment came as Mpora and several lawyers from Cavendish presented at a law awareness camp at Kasangati town council hall on August 28.
The team was led by the university’s dean of Law faculty, Dr Olive Sabiti. Others were Priscilla Tamale, Herman Tuhairwe, Allen Yoboka and Nimrod Muhumuza, invited to discuss various topics in law.
The highlight of the day was the interaction with lawyers, where residents learned about making a will, land issues, marriage and domestic law; the difference between criminal and civil cases, police bond and court bail; duties of sureties, landlord and tenant relations, oral and written contracts; as well as loans and money lending.
The audience was told family members have no right to change the will of a deceased person, but where they are dissatisfied, the matter can be brought to a court, which has authority to change the will.
Similarly, a landlord can only remove the properties of a tenant who has disappeared, in presence of local council committee members or police as witnesses.
A record of the items is then made and the witnesses sign it. But the tenant has no right to sell the items to recover owed rent. Only court can order such a sale.
A landowner has no right to refuse the rent passed by the district land board or forcefully evict a kibanja tenant; only court can order such eviction.
Residents were also told that a borrower should never allow a moneylender to trick them into believing that borrowing is the same thing as selling the collateral.
“A borrower should not sign transfer forms or sign agreements that use the word ‘sold’, and loan contracts should stipulate the agreed value of the collateral.”
Moneylenders are also required to always display their current annual license. On the other hand, if a moneylender is unavailable on repayment deadline, the borrower can deposit the money with the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority.
The camp was called by the area member of parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi, who is also a student at Cavendish. The MP promised to assist the university in opening many Rule of Law clubs in his constituency.
Sabiti, who came with about 40 students, said law awareness camps are integral to their training style, which emphasizes hands-on experience through field outreaches.