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ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY

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Though the pandemic may be in the past, its effects and new norms are far from over. As we dispose of facemasks and continue to purchase hand sanitizer, the new normal has still left us with the growth of the digitalisation of goods and services. Surprisingly, music is no exception. Kenya recently introduced a mobile application called Hustle Sasa which has enabled creatives to sell their art directly to consumers. The most recent evidence of this was with Kenyan musician Bein-Aime Alusa’s concert at the beginning of the year. Through the application, the renowned artist can keep making connections and profit through digital streaming and payment. Hustle Sasa is meant to help artists recover revenues lost during the coronavirus lockdown as the stages that many artists know, and love was bare for a season. 

The application allows creatives to stream music, and sell branded merchandise, concert ticket and services all on one application. The win of it all is that artists are not required to pay any set-up costs or monthly fees but receive their payment instantly in their desired revenue outlets. 

As the creative co-founders of hustlesasa, we are thrilled to be part of this game-changing mix of art and tech to help the next generation of African creatives get paid to do what they love.

– Sauti Sol

This has not been the only development in the Kenyan creative scene as it was also announced that artists were to be availed of free legal services and another digital platform to help them benefit from their works. The platform will seek to identify, develop and monetise the talent of artists from various sectors within Kenya. 

It is no secret that the creative industry reaps little returns within East Africa and yet if organisations and countries were able to provide platforms for creatives to earn from their art then this industry would truly flourish. This incentive is urged by the number of artists who are continuously exploited and some enter bad contracts. The legal services that are provided will protect artists within Kenya from entering mentioned contracts as they will be thoroughly scrutinised. In an ideal world, the laws governing copyright infringement should protect artists from this, however, this is not the case. There have been instances of non-compliant users and evidence of fraud. 

Below are a few measures that are to be enforced to promote the arts in Kenya;

i) Encouragement of collaboration between countries. It was shared that with the audio-visual co-production agreement signed between Kenya and South Africa, more artists from the two countries would collaborate. This means that there will be more output of music from Kenyan artists as a whole.

ii) Any individuals found to have stolen earnings from artists generated through creative work shall face penalties. 

iii) As of this year,2023, licencing will only be issued to Collective Management Organisations that have fulfilled their statutory provisions. 

iv) Media houses will be required to clear their royalties before their licences are renewed. 

With all this said and done, Kenya appears to be on the right track to inspiring the arts to thrive. With this said, we need to ask ourselves what measures government can enforce to promote the arts in Uganda. We currently have mobile applications like Quicket.com that helps artists with a platform to sell their products but itis safe to say that a lot more can be done.

Growth of Publishing in Uganda

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It is more evident that the African literary scene has expanded massively over the past few years. The notable African Books of the Year list was launched in 2018 to highlight the most impactful books in a given year to show the world how richly and expansively African literary culture is growing, and to introduce readers to new books, particularly books from under-represented parts of the continent. The year 2022 highlighted 100 notable African books with one book from author Okot p’Bitek from Uganda. Are we doing enough as Ugandans to create?

There is no friend as loyal as a book.

Ernest Hemingway

If you have read any African book, you are possibly conversant with the fact that many African storytellers re-live African experiences through their pages, Uganda is no exception. But with the rise of African literature, Uganda doesn’t appear to be at the top even with the various copyright protections. As of this year, Uganda has ratified and acceded to four key copyright treaties – the Berne Convention, the WIPO Copyright Treaty, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, and the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. These four treaties combined provide creatives with the rights needed to protect and benefit from their works. 

Creators have exclusive rights to publish, reproduce, perform, broadcast, and communicate the work to the public. With the expansion and use of the internet, their work can be shared globally with no limitation except the risk of piracy. What opportunities are currently available for Ugandan creatives? 

It is easy to say that with over 100 African books published in the last year, there is room for Ugandan authors and creatives to shine as they seize every opportunity that comes their way. 

How do I publish a book in Uganda?

Publishers who require the issuance of ISBN should contact the National Library of Uganda division at the National Library of Uganda offices at Buganda Road. A new publisher should apply for your own ISBN publisher prefix and plan to identify and circulate your books properly in the industry supply chain.

Museum and Monuments Bill 2022 returned to Parliament.

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Par­lia­ment at the fi­nal stage of passing a Bill into law as an Act of Parliament sends said Bill to the President for assent. President Museveni has recently held his assent of the recent Museum and Monuments Bill 2022 back to parliament for reconsideration.

As discussed previously, the Act seeks to consolidate and reform the law relating to cultural and natural heritage; to strengthen the administrative structures for the effective management of the cultural and natural heritage.

The President’s reservations stemmed from the fact that Kilembe Mines should not be considered a protected area as stated by the Act because it possesses a mining license and the company is a state enterprise with majority public ownership. 

Kilembe Mines is Uganda’s largest copper mine. In 2015, the managers at Kilembe decided to resume copper extraction and upon said decision, the mine was revived in stages. The president’s concern is based on the fact that if the Kilembe mine is declared a protected area according to the Act, its operations would cease. In other words, the mine’s inclusion in the bill should be deleted as it does not fit the description of a protected area. A few other areas are to be struck off the list of protected areas. These include:

  1. Acherer Gold Mine in Nakapiripirit
  2. Part of Panyimur Sub-County in Pakwach District, which is a fossil site, not the entire sub-county.

“I don’t like museums, there’s nothing to buy”

Violet Trefusis

What are protected areas under the Act?

‘Protected area’ under the Act means a site which has been and remains declared by the Minister to be a protected area. The sites mentioned above are listed under the second schedule as protected sites under the Bill. These sites are protected under Part X of the Bill that provides for the guardianship of sites and monuments, agreement for the protection and preservation of said sites and monuments and discoveries.

The President advised that the following changes be made to the Bill;

The Parliament has the absolute power to pass a Bill into law after following the correct procedure. The assent of the president is the final stage a Bill has to undergo before it passes as an Act of Parliament. In this case, because the President withdrew his assent, the Bill will be taken back to Parliament for consideration.

What amounts to matrimonial property? (Ambayo v Aserua Civil Appeal No.0100 0F 2015)

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One of the saddest things about marriage today is the fact that many couples have decided to dissolve their union. Divorce and separation are one topic that we cannot ignore and with the latest news coming from the Court of Appeal, the distribution of property is one topic that is in dire need of discussion.

Marital property under Ugandan law strictly refers to property that is acquired by persons who were legally married ignoring the fact that several parties within our borders are cohabiting. This is the foundation upon which this article is based. The case of Muwanga Vs Kintu attempted to define marital property, where it was stated that “Matrimonial property is understood differently by different people.

There is always a property that the couple chose to call home. There may be a property which may be acquired separately by each spouse before or after marriage. Then there is the property that a husband may hold in trust for the clan. Each of these should in my view be considered differently. The property to which each spouse should be entitled is that property which the parties chose to call home and which they jointly contribute to.”

This definition was used to justify the previous decision made in the judgment upon which the recent civil appeal case of Ambayo v Aserua was based. The facts of the case were as follows; the appellant and respondent started cohabiting in 1989 to about 2005 when they solemnised their marriage. Within the said period, the couple sired four children and before officially getting married, they acquired land upon which their marital home stands and was purchased and all developments were made to make it a home.

The plot of land was registered solely in the name of the appellant as the purchaser. Proceedings for divorce started in 2012 upon which the judge issued a decree nisi to dissolve the marriage. The judge decided that even though the house was solely in the appellant’s name, it was marital property and it belonged to the couple in equal share. Therefore they were ordered to value and sell it. 

The appeal’s outcome has set a precedent in our law as the appellant was aggrieved with the judgement. Under Ugandan law, a spouse is entitled to an equal share in the matrimonial home, property owned jointly, and property acquired during the subsistence of marriage which the parties jointly contributed. The previous judgement considered the plot upon which their marital home stood to be matrimonial property even though it was purchased before their marriage. 

“A good marriage is one where each partner secretly suspects they got the better deal.”

Unknown

So what is marital property?

  1. According to Rwabinumi vs. Bahinbisonwe, all property acquired before marriage is the separate property of the spouse who purchased it. 
  2. Matrimonial property is a property whose purchase both husband and wife make monetary and/or non-monetary contributions. The non-monetary contribution would include instances where a spouse offers domestic services. In Kagga v. Kagga, it was stated that “when distributing the property of a divorced couple, it is immaterial that one of the spouses was not as financially endowed as the other as this case clearly showed that while the first respondent was the financial muscle behind all the wealth they acquired, the contribution of the petitioner is no less important than that made by the respondent.

With the case at hand, we agree with the judge. The state of the property in question is matrimonial property even though it was purchased before the appellant and respondent were married. The key is to look at the intention of the parties, in this case, it was to have it as a family home.

Here are the new rules pertaining marital property;

i) Marriage does not give a spouse automatic half-share in marital property upon divorce as was previously expected.

ii) A spouse’s share in marital property is dependent on his or her contribution to it.

iii) Contributions to marital property can either be monetary, not monetary or both.

iv) The non-monetary contribution consists of unpaid care and domestic work rendered by a spouse during the course of the marriage. When court is determining the value of unpaid care and domestic work, it will take into consideration the monetary value principles like the value of cost of similar or substitute services available on the labor or service market.

PRIVITY OF CONTRACT

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Building a connection is one of the most vital things in any relationship and a business relationship is no different. As you run a business and sign a contract, this relationship is described as privity. The major rule under the privity of a contract is that no one may be entitled to or bound by the terms of a contract to which he or she is not an original party.

This allows only parties involved in a contract to sue each other against said contract and not a third party. A third party may be a person who is likely to gain something of value from the contract (also known as a third-party beneficiary). Said person has no legal right to take any contract-enforcing action if they do not receive the promised benefits. In the case of Tweddle v Atkinson, it was stated that “no stranger to the consideration can take advantage of a contract, although made for his benefit.”

The perfect example to explain this would be in a tenancy arrangement. If a tenant to a piece of property that was purchased by someone else and a contract stating that the person that sold the property was required to make certain repairs exist. If the said seller did not fulfill the obligation, then a tenant would not be able to sue the seller because they are not in privity with this person. Instead, it would be expected that the party who is named in the contract be the one to bring up a lawsuit. 

 It’s not all cases that privity to a contract does not rule out the possibility of that entity suing or being sued over matters arising from the contract. The  Asante Aviation Ltd V Star Of Africa Air Charters Ltd & 3 Orshis case was an application for an order of specific performance compelling the defendants to sign transfers of an aircraft. The court relied on the concept that only parties to a contract can sue for breach (privity of contract). It observed that one of the exceptions to this rule is where a third party can prove that he/she is a beneficiary of the contract between the two people. The court held that the defendants were third-party beneficiaries since the loan agreement between the first defendant and the second defendant was for their benefit.

Here are a few exceptions where a third party is able to sue under a contract to which they are not privy;

1) Third parties can sue contracting parties if it is proven that the contracting parties were negligent.

2) In instances benefits of a contract may be assigned to a third party. 

3) Insurance is the most common exception. A party involved in a car accident can benefit from an insurance company.

4) A third party may sue the seller over defective goods if the third party is affected by the flaws in the goods. 

RIGHT TO ACTION

Under the exceptions that have been shared, a third party is allowed to sue for the following remedies;

i) Specific performance

ii) Damages

An overview of the changes in the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022

Abstract

As a country, Uganda has various laws which govern employment including The Employment Act 2006, The Employment Regulations 2006, The Labour Dispute Arbitration and Settlement Act, The Labour Unions Act, The Occupational Safety and Health Act 2006, Workers Compensation Act Cap 225, The Employment (Recruitment of Migrant Workers) Regulations, 2005 among others. These laws govern various aspects of labourers and employers including their rights, working conditions, dispute resolutions, dos and do nots among others.

The current law which governs individual employment relations is the Employment Act 2006. This Act was enacted to revise and consolidate the laws governing individual employment relationships, and to provide for other connected matters.

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At the end of the day, the true value proposition for education is employment.

Sebastian Thrun

Introduction

The Parliament of Uganda has recently tabled a private member’s Bill the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 mainly seeking to address some defects in the current Employment law addressing casual laborers/employees, domestic workers, migrant workers, breastfeeding mothers, sexual harassment in employment and severance allowance among others

Sexual Harassment in Employment

Whereas the current law only defines what constitutes sexual harassment, the procedure for a complaint in case of sexual harassment at work and limits the requirement for sexual harassment procedures to employers with more than twenty-five employees, the Bill further proposes prohibition of mistreatment, harassment and violence at the workplace. In addition, to define what constitutes mistreatment, harassment and violence at the workplace, under the Bill, it is mandatory for all employers to put in place measures to prevent sexual harassment and it is an offense for any person who does not comply with this provision.

Employment of Children

The Employment Act allows the employment of children below the age of fourteen in light work under the supervision of an adult. The Bill increases this age limit for light work to sixteen years to protect children from exploitation and child labor.

Protection of Employees

The Bill further proposes an expansion of the definitions of contract of service and employee to cater for casual and domestic work while prohibiting employers from retaining or withholding original personal or professional documents of an employee.

The Bill protects special categories of employees including persons with disabilities, domestic workers and casual laborers by granting the Minister authority to prescribe a complaint handling mechanism to govern the employment of this category of workers who need special protection.

Casual Employees

The Bill proposes that any form of casual employment exceeding four months be converted to a term of employment thus entitling the casual laborer to a written contract and all rights and benefits enjoyed by employees.

Migrant Workers

In respect to migrant workers, the Bill provides for specific obligations for employers of migrant workers while creating an offense for non-compliance. The Bill further defines what a recruitment agency is, the obligations such as the orientation of workers, keeping records ensuring that the workers’ contracts are in compliance with employment laws among others, the minimum employment standard requirements of the agencies, and clarifies who is eligible to be licensed to engage in recruitment and placement of migrant workers.

Repatriation Allowance

The Employment Act currently provides that on termination of an employment contract, repatriation allowance should be given to employees who worked one hundred kilometers away from their homes, and automatic repatriation allowance for employees that have worked with the employer for more than ten years. The Bill reduces the distance to fifty kilometers and five years for automatic repatriation allowance in case of termination of an employee.

Severance Allowance

Previously, the Employment Act left a gap in the calculation of severance allowance leaving it to be arrived at by negotiations between the employer and employer. The Industrial Court in various complaints established a formula for the calculation of severance allowance which had become the practice. The Bill has addressed this lacuna by explicitly providing for the formula for calculating this allowance.

Breastfeeding Mothers

The Employment Act currently provides for maternity leave in respect of the protection of female employees, the Bill strives to further protect new and breastfeeding mothers by providing for thirty-minute breastfeeding breaks daily in every two hours or a reduction in the contractual hours for an additional sixty days to allow her to breastfeed her child. The employer is also obliged to establish a lactation place at work to allow breastfeeding mothers to breastfeed their children during these breaks.

Outsourcing services

The Bill introduces a new provision on outsourcing of services requiring contracts with a third party to make sure that the contracts of the employees of the third party are in compliance with the employment law before engaging their services.

Impracticability and Enforceability of the bill once enacted

Domestic Workers

The Bill categorizes domestic workers as employees. This means that every single person in Uganda who employs a person including housemaids, nannies, shamba-boys, gardeners, drivers, etc. should have to sign a contract of service with each one of them entailing their scope of work, pay, leave, rights among others in addition to payment of the statutory contributions of their employees.

This implication is that in addition to looking for and saving money to pay basic household bills, necessities, school fees, etc. any person in Uganda employing a domestic worker whether temporarily or not would have to put aside money earned from their business if any, salaries, etc. to pay for their domestic workers’ contributions like NSSF, PAYE and terminal benefits among others. This is quite expensive for an average Ugandan household to do.

Further, the Bill is not mindful of the fact that there are very many people in towns and in villages all over Uganda with persons helping them with different kinds of domestic work at home and not all of these “employers” are salaried workers. Most of these people are earning daily and the relationship with their domestic workers is of payment in kind e.g. food, and rent.

Domestic worker relationships in Uganda is mostly informal, flexible, simple, and reciprocal. In addition, many people doing domestic work do not want to be confined to one employer thereby working for multiple people in a day or week. A question then arises on the practicability in such circumstances, would the domestic worker “employee” be under a contract of service for all their multiple employers, and whether each of them would be paying for that single worker NSSF contribution, payee, terminal benefits, and severance allowance amongst others.

The issue of domestic workers should be left to be handled on a case-by-case basis without this blanket regulation thereby allowing those that wish to be under contracts of service to do while those that desire informal arrangements to opt for them.

Casual Laborers

In Uganda, most casual workers work temporarily, hourly, or daily to make ends meet and some casual workers work in more than one place of work.

The challenge will then set in for casual workers engaged with more than one employer continuously for the four months. What will happen when both contracts become permanent after continuous engagement? Automatically making these workers whose aim is to work in a temporary setting clearly restricted on their freedom.

Some jobs are seasonal e.g. for harvest or planting times. The idea that an employee is going to cease being a casual worker with employment benefits is impracticable since this kind of arrangement calls for work only during a particular season. During the other periods, the casual worker is most probably working with another employer.

Outsourcing of Services

The proposition by the Bill is broad and difficult to implement. Services is such a wide scope including food services at work, for functions, labor services for work or functions, independent contractors goes against the laws of confidentiality of contract. The requirement of due diligence on every single employee’s contract of a third-party one is outsourcing is impractical since it is the duty of the employer to make sure that their employees have valid contracts of service when recruiting them.

Conclusion

The Bill seeks to prevent the exploitation and abuse of various categories of employees as seen above by addressing lacunas that previously existed thus ensuring that Employment laws are up to date with international labor laws and standards.

The Bill is a welcome move by the Parliament to protect these categories of workers. However, it broadly addresses most of the aspects such as the regulation of domestic and casual workers in a blanket manner that is quite impracticable in the local circumstances. There is a need to make the law more open to allow employers and employees with the option to be regulated by this Act or special arrangements between them.

REBRANDING

When Facebook announced that they were rebranding and changing their name to Meta with the strategic plan to create a metaverse- a virtual world in which a consumer spends increasing parts of their lives based on AI and virtual reality, many of us asked why?

This announcement alone expands the digital world that we have become accustomed to in the past two years and yet Facebook has already taken over the digital market with various products including the acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram.

The reason Mark Zuckerburg gave for this decision is that the company wants to move past the ‘confusion and awkwardness’ of sharing a name with its main app thus calling for a much-needed rebrand that doesn’t limit their scope to social media.

Rebranding is the process of changing the corporate image of an organization. This marketing strategy involves giving a new name, symbol, or change in design for an already-established brand to create a different identity for the brand.

Rebranding

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.

Seth Godin

WHY WOULD A COMPANY REBRAND ITSELF?

Rebranding is not a decision that should be taken lightly, there are so many factors to consider, however it is an option that would change the trajectory of your business as a whole.

  1. Reflecting new goals, products, offers or values.

The best way to show that your business is evolving would be through rebranding yourself. Businesses grow in various ways and it would be unfair not to consider that a company may grow to include more services, set new goals, and offer new products. A rebrand could be necessary to reflect that.

  1. Set yourself apart from your competitors.

No business is void of competitors and standing out may be a bit of a challenge. Rebranding can be the most effective way to set what a company offers and its approach apart. Rebranding shows the customer that your services are unique. A company may desire to rebrand to create a personality for itself that appeals to its audience.

  1. Connect with new customers.

Rebranding allows businesses to reach new customers. The key to this lies in a company focusing mainly on promoting different aspects of their business to the crowd for people to take notice. It offers the stimulation a business needs to create new growth in the market.

  1. Boosting profits.

Sometimes as you embark on a business venture, it is not uncommon for sales to reach a plateau. In such a scenario, rebranding is a great way to boost profits. A new look or new name opens a business up to more possibilities and higher profit margins.

HOW TO REBRAND IN UGANDA

Rebranding a business is quite simple and if you recall the steps we used to register a trademark, then this will be an easy step-by-step guide. Rebranding may require a person to change their mark, logo or name. Before deciding on the mark that a corporation or business decides to adopt, a search must be performed to ascertain whether the trademark exists in the register. An application is then filed upon payment of application fees. The application should contain the mark proposed to be used, the class of goods or services, and the name, address and signature of the applicant.

To get the consumer excited about the new name or mark, it would be important for a company to run a promotion that would enable the customer to engage with the new product, accustom themselves to the new trends and offers and lastly grow the business.

To read more about registering a trademark, click the link here.

MUSEUM AND MONUMENTS ACT, 2022

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities tabled the Museum and Monuments Act before parliament which was aimed to repeal and replace the Historical Monuments Act, Cap 26. The bill has recently been passed by parliament, but not without objections from concerned parties.

The law provides for the development, management, and maintenance of museums and monuments and formalize, control, and protect tangible and intangible heritage and works of art collection, however, museum operators have expressed that this appears to be slowing them down. 

There have been various developments that have happened over the years, some of which have been detrimental to our heritage as a country. If you have followed the news lately, you might have paid attention to the fact some historical sites have been affected by rapid demolition, fires and war encroachment that has led to the loss of cultural heritage across the country. Other developments, nationally, regionally and internationally have necessitated reviews in the policy, legal and institutional frameworks, conventions and protocol (which to some Uganda is a signatory to) but are no longer supported by the current Act, rendering some of its tenets obsolete. 

 “Africa’s story has been written by others; we need to own our problems and solutions and write our story”.

President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, 2013.

OBJECTIVES OF THE ACT

 a) To ensure the protection of cultural and natural heritage resources and the environment.

(b) To give effect to the UNESCO Convention of 1972 on the Protection of Cultural and Natural heritage.

(c) To strengthen the legal and regulatory framework through the conservation, preservation, protection, and management of cultural and natural heritage resources.

(d) To strengthen and provide set up of an institutional structure of effective management of the museums and monuments subsector including through enhancing the capacity of the Department for collective governance of the subsector.

(e) To prohibit illicit trafficking of protected objects, to Local content of cultural and natural heritage.

(f) To provide for progressive rehabilitation of heritage sites; to promote regional and international cooperation.

g) To promote research and development of natural and cultural heritage.

(h) To promote and guide public-private partnerships in the conservation and preservation of cultural and natural heritage.

OBJECTIONS TO THE ACT

Several parties concerned with the enactment of this law have come out with their concerns. To be more specific, the impact the new law has on the private museums which are provided for under section 18 of the Act.

Section 18 of the Act provides that any person wishing to establish a private museum must apply to the Commissioner for a license that allows them to operate a private museum made under the Act. However, Section 98 of the Act states that only those museums with a license issued under the old Act would exist on day one of enacting the bill into law.

Unfortunately, this does not put into account any of the non-state museums as the repealed law did not recognize non-state museums since no one envisaged in 1967 that Uganda would one day have more non-state museums. The repealed law therefore only recognizes the Ugandan Museum as the only museum. 

Section 6 of the Act which provides for the management and administration of museums places this responsibility upon the Department of Museums and Monuments. This department is responsible for overseeing, managing, and regulating museums and monuments under the general policy direction of the Minister. This, therefore, places private museums under government administration which would be impossible to maintain. 

 Section 16 provides that the Minister may, by statutory instrument, declare an area within the jurisdiction of a community museum that serves the interest of the history or culture of the community or an indigenous group. However, it was noted that one area may have many museums that may specialize in different aspects of heritage which makes this particular section difficult to enforce. 

Section 34 which provides for the protection of burial grounds and sites was found to be exclusive of some areas. The Uganda Law Society suggested that clause 8 should extend its protection to burial grounds and graves of victims citing the Lukodi graveyard in Gulu District where at least 60 civilians were massacred by the Lord’s Resistance Army in 2004 as the owner of the land wanted his property back yet it would count as a significant memorial sits on it.

We agree that it is important for us to preserve our historical heritage. These amendments, even with the current objections do not take away from this necessity.

ARGUMENT FOR CUSTODY

Parenting is one of the most critical assignments we could ever have as humans. It is probably not the first time you have heard that a child has been mistreated by a parent or a guardian within Uganda. These abuses include physical violence, gender-based violence and sexual violence all a serious detriment to a child. At times, this abuse has extended to children being forced into child labour.  

Parenting is nurturing, socialising and providing for a child’s holistic growth and development. The Children’s Act stipulates under the second schedule that it is the parent, and guardian’s duty to provide education and guidance, immunization, adequate diet, clothing, shelter, and medical to a child and also gives any person who has custody of a child shall protect a child from discrimination, violence, abuse and neglect.

There is no limitation to parenthood within Uganda, this responsibility is extended to grandparents, stepparents, foster parents, adoptive parents and even communities and each of these people plays an essential role to play in the upbringing of a child. 

“Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless, unconditional and forgiving.”

– Dr. TP Chia

In an ideal world, custody of a child goes to both parents, however, in the legal world, there are moments when the custody of a child may be in question and the court would have to decide who would cater for the responsibilities we have mentioned earlier. Custody is usually in question in instances of divorce and separation.  In the case of Rwabuhemba Tim Musinguzi v. Harriet Kamakume Supreme Court, Civil Application No. 142 of 2009, it was stated that parents have a fundamental constitutional right to care for and bring up their children.

The welfare of the child is a consideration to be taken into account, and at times may be the paramount consideration in determining the custody of a child. A parent can only be denied the right to care for and raise her children when it is clear and has been determined by a competent authority, in accordance with the law, that it is in the best interest of the child that the child be separated from the parent. Both parents have similar and equal rights with regard to their children.

WHAT DOES THE COURT CONSIDER WHEN GRANTING CUSTODY?

  1. The welfare of the child

In the case of  Re M (an infant), Adoption cause No. 9 of 1995, the court stated that in all matters relating to children, the welfare and best interests of a child shall be paramount. This is further stipulated in Section 3 of the Children Act. Welfare in this case means all circumstances that would affect the well-being and upbringing of the child.

  1. Age of the child

In instances where the custody of a child is in question before a court or local council within Uganda and said child is of tender years, custody must and will be granted to the mother.

  1.  Wishes of the child

While determining the question relating to the upbringing of a child within custody, the court will take into consideration the wishes of said child. Of course, this may be done with wisdom because the court may need to consider the age of the child before basing their decision on their wishes. Even still, the court will respect the wishes of the older children who are of age and are able to make up their minds as to what they think is best. 

HOW TO APPLY FOR CUSTODY IN UGANDA

  1. A person presents an Application for Custody praying to be granted custody and obtain maintenance orders for the child. A person who applies for custody/maintenance is called an applicant while the party against whom the application is brought is called a respondent.
  1. The application must be supported by an Affidavit in Support stating the reasons why he or she should be granted custody and/or maintenance orders for the child.
  1. When filing the application in court, the requisite filing fees (UGX 6,000) must be paid in the bank and evidence of payment attached to the application.
  1. The applicant then extracts a summons from the court requiring the respondent to either file an affidavit in reply or to appear in court on a day specified therein and serve it together with the application, on the respondent within 21 days after the court issues the summons.
  1. Once the summons is served on the respondent, the applicant must file an Affidavit of Service in court clearly stating how he/she served it on the respondent.
  1. Upon receipt of the summons and application, the respondent is required to file an affidavit in reply within 15 days from the date of receipt of the summons or before the date he/she has been summoned to appear before the court.
  1. The affidavit in reply and all its accompaniments must be served on the applicant by the respondent.
  1. In scenarios where the respondent fails to file an affidavit in reply within 15 days or fails to appear in court on the date mentioned in the summons, then the court may hear the application in the absence of the respondent.
  1. At the hearing, the court will receive evidence from the applicant with respect to his/her application and the respondent with respect to his/her affidavit in reply.
  1. After hearing from both parties or from only the applicant where the respondent does not file an affidavit in reply, the court will go ahead to either grant or refuse to grant the custody and maintenance orders to the applicant.

How to form a SACCO in Uganda

If you are a regular Ugandan living in this current economy, you have probably joined or thought about starting a SACCO. A SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization) is a group of people with similar interests who come together to form a credit union. The union is registered with the Ministry of Cooperatives, which in turn authorizes the SACCO to receive deposits and provide loans to its members.

SACCOs are a unique, democratic, member-driven, and self-help cooperative organization where members agree to save their money together and offer loans to each other at reasonable rates of interest. Interest is charged on loans, to cover the interest cost on savings and the cost of administration. SACCOs are a great way to save money and grow your income base.

To form a SACCO, members must satisfy the conditions under S. 4 of the Cooperative Societies Act. A SAACO must be comprised of at least 30 members, and all must be qualified by S.13 of the Act. Said member to qualify must have attained the age of 18 years and should be a resident or in occupation of land within the society’s area of operation.

“Small amounts saved daily add up to huge investments in the end.” 

– Margo Vader

REQUIREMENTS

A SAACO is a legal entity and therefore is required to satisfy all the legal requirements to be registered.

1. Name of community

Like anything, the name of any organization or company is the most important thing. While picking a name, the law requires that said name should reflect elements of domicile, and economic activity of its members and should bear the words Saving and Credit Cooperative Society.

2. Members

The minimum number of members required to start a SAACO is thirty members. This means that once a group has below 30 members/ individuals, it cannot register as a cooperative company. The beauty of it all is that the law does not really provide for an upper cup and therefore the members can be as many as possible.

Another major requirement for members is for them to have a common bond with other members. A person should either be a resident or own land in the area where they are registering the cooperative society. This is a form of accountability for members and makes it easy for members to trace each other in case loans are taken on and members disappear without a known identity. 

Requirements for Registration of a Cooperative Society

A license or Permit to operate a SACCO can be obtained from Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority. A SACCO shall not carry on the business of financial Services unless it is

  1.  A  registered society
  2. Licensed under the Act.

Prepare the necessary background and relevant information then fill up the appropriate application form as described by the Microfinance Regulatory Authority. The documents to be attached to the application form include:

  1. a certified copy of the certificate of registration issued under the Cooperative Societies Act;
  2. the organizational structure and management of the registered society;
  3. the business plan of the registered society;
  4. the credit policies and lending policies of the registered society.

After filling out the form proceed to pay the prescribed fee. Submit the duly filled-in form and attached it with the pay slip to the Finance Officer in charge of SACCO Registration.

Ensure that the application fee is submitted and all required information is included with the application.

Collect your SACCO License certificate from where your application was submitted within 21 days from the date the application was received at Microfinance Regulatory Authority in case there is no rejection.

Instructions To Register SACCO In Uganda