Saturday, January 17, 2015
Witnesses Needed for the LDC Parliamentary Investigation
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
On Wednesday, 3 December, 2014, the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda debated and passed a motion to investigate the complaint against underperformance of the Law Development Centre (LDC). The complaint is available here: http://www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com/2014/05/complaint-concerning-under-performance_10.html. The House directed that the complaint be investigated by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, which should compile a report to be presented to the plenary, for the Honourable Members’ final consideration.
Briefly, the complaint analyzes the causes of the unacceptably high failure rates at the Law Development Centre (LDC); calls for an independent and serious parliamentary inquiry into the same; and proposes breaking the LDC monopoly over the Bar course, by devolving the training and teaching of the course to universities in Uganda that are offering the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programmes. We expect that universities will do a much better job than LDC has done.
The Committee will begin its investigations in February 2015, soon after MPs return from recess. The date of starting the hearings will be communicated later. I am reliably informed that the Committee comprises about 25 members, although usually 15 are present, conducting its business.
On behalf of the coordination committee of this matter, and indeed on my own behalf as Chief Coordinator, I call upon Ugandans and other well wishers to take keen interest in this matter of great national importance. In particular, I call upon our people to step forward and give testimony before the Committee, pertaining to the excesses at LDC. I also invite them to attend the Committee hearings whenever they can. In a classic case of institutional failure and state capture, the Centre commands a reputation of horrible tales of corruption and extortion of money from students in exchange for marks by lecturers, sexual exploitation of students also by lecturers, and many other abuses. We need brave volunteers to give evidence to this effect, exposing the cruelty, oppression and tyranny of LDC. Your testimony will go a long way to salvage the situation and liberate future lives.
The issue of legendary high failure rates at LDC, bordering on massacre and the impunity that reigns there, largely due to the incurably defective system that superintends over them, are matters of national interest, affecting all Ugandans and non-Ugandans equally and without discrimination. These excesses do not bear any political, religious, ethnic, economic or social inclination.
The Law Development Centre is akin to a monster that is on rampage, devouring everything and anything within its sight and reach. Young lawyers in Uganda, who are yearning and preparing for a life of and living in legal practice, have been the monster’s source of food for a very long time. Unfortunately, as explained in the complaint, for so long, these lawyers have been too timid to confront this merciless and insatiable monster.
It is in light of these facts and revelations that our joint efforts as citizens are paramount. When a people are besieged by a common enemy, the logical thing to do is to come together, stand as one, and confront the enemy as one united force. We should work together to tame and cage the monster on loose. We should exterminate it like vermin since it is of no value, considering that there are more viable alternatives. Together, we shall end institutional failure and state capture at LDC.
Anyone interested in giving evidence before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament may contact me via mobile number +256753124713 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for purposes of working out the relevant modalities.