Our Mandate

To strengthen coordination and networking of LASPs, harmonisation and standardisation of legal aid service provision by the different service providers, lobbying and advocacy to facilitate a favourable legal and policy environment.

JUSTICE NABISINDE LAUNCHES CROWD FUNDING SOFTWARE FOR LWENGO DISTRICT

“It is high time we contribute to our own needs, this will increase responsibility and accountability in access to justice”. Her Lordship Dr.Winifred Nabisinde said this as she officially launched the crowd funding software for Lwengo district. Crowd funding is an online fundraising software that allows collection of modest amounts of money from many people into a pool that realizes sufficient funding for a particular project or activity. 

In this particular case, the collected funds will have a special account run by the Lwengo local government and will be used to top up the services rendered by lawyers as well as to be kept as a revolving fund for future legal service provision.

Justice Nabisinde called on residents to be part of their own transformation in access to justice by helping the very poor in the community. She alluded to the Islamic faith where muslims pay alms in the form of zakat to help the needy; and also quoted the bible in proverbs 19:17 which states that: “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed”. She further noted that although government has the responsibility to provide legal services to all citizens, the legal aid law was not yet in place hence the need for a tentative measure as a pathway for access to justice.

The launch held at the district headquarters on 29th August 2018 was attended by over 200 participants including project partners -PILAC and FIDA, district councilors, religious leaders, justice system actors, media practitioners, police representatives and residents of Lwengo.

Dr. Nabisinde also highlighted other schemes set up by government such as plea bargaining, small claims and mediation that help citizens maneuver through the justice chain and urged the people of Lwengo to embrace them.

In his remarks, the district chairperson Mr. George Mutabaazi applauded the Lwengo legal aid project partners for the initiative that had over the two years reduced pressure on the police, done away with brokers who were conning residents and shortened the long distances that many had had to travel to seek justice. He recalled the first case under the project of Namusisi, a poor mother of seven who had sought refuge at his home for weeks having been evicted from her marital home by her husband after he married a new wife. FIDA Uganda was able to intervene and Namusisi together with her children regained access to their home. The Chairperson committed monthly accountability reports from the district as a way to ensure transparency for the funds collected.

Ms. Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa, the Executive Director LASPNET also shared the journey of the project that began in September 2016 with the aim of addressing the gaps in access to justice. She commended the Democratic Governance Facility for supporting the pilot project noting that it would soon extend to two other local governments. Ms. Namubiru appreciated the project partners FIDA for providing a full-time lawyer at the district, PILAC for the student lawyers who support awareness raising and legal education to residents and especially the Lwengo team for providing space for the legal aid clinic, 3 acres of land to build court structures and passing a resolution to open an account for the crowd funding. The idea of crowd funding was born out of the need by partners to ensure that the Lwengo pilot project remains self-sustainable even after they have closed off support.  She spoke about the petition developed by LASPNET asking government to pass the National Legal Policy and urged the residents to append their signatures to support the demand for the law. She however cautioned the residents against having a dependency mindset and encouraged them to be self-starters.

Ms. Kange Veronica who spoke on behalf of PILAC commended the residents of Lwengo for teaching the student lawyers about the needs of the people at the grassroots hence inculcating social justice among them.

Ms. Joanita Asiimwe, the Legal Aid Manager at FIDA Uganda appreciated the district for all the support that had eased the running of the legal aid clinic. She underscored the help of the community legal volunteers trained at sub-county level to reach all grassroots communities.

Participants were guided through the process for making donations through the crowdfunding software by Mr. Martin Ojambo, the LASPNET ICT Officer who was part of the developing team. The mobile money option which was most embraced by the residents goes through the following steps:

MTN *165# 4- Payments 4- goods and services, merchant code: lwengo- Reference code: donation- amount- pin number – send.

Direct deposits through the bank and credit cards can be done through Finance Trust Bank on account number: 216253000024 whereas those contributing online can use this link: crowdfunding.laspnet.org.

While closing the event, Ms. Harriet Nakamya, the RDC Lwengo decried the increasing practice of residents taking the law into their own hands out of ignorance and welcomed the crowd funding that would provide resources to curb such tendencies hence reducing the number of prisoners and corresponding costs.

Hon.Dr. Justice Winfred Nabisinde & Mr.George Mutabaazi,the LCV Lwengo Chairperson, RDC Harriet Nakamya signing on the launch Board
A child signs the launch board to signify inclusive legal aid service delivery. The board was signed by various participants who included the elderly, disabled, local councilors, police, project partners, journalists and the leadership of Lwengo reflected in the second picture
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