Our legal education weeks in Uganda offer a time of learning and renewed hope for people in prison.
Our most recent events took place across six prisons: Murchison Bay Prison, Luzira Women Prison, Myanzi Prison, Kitwe Prison, Kakumiro Prison, and Muinaina Prison. It was a time to distill complex legal theories into more relatable concepts through the theme: Reducing crime through legal knowledge. The event encouraged the use of song, dance, debate, and drama to bring to life injustices as they occur within the community and offered paths towards freedom within the criminal justice system.
In rural Kakumiro District in Uganda, a young man named Alex Byamukama shared his thoughts on crime and its devastating effect on community life. He highlighted the yearning for justice among people within the prison gates, and its transformative power for those who access it.
Alex's words are a clarion call to uproot justice, and usher in a new season where rights are embraced, differences are tolerated and justice is accessible to all.
Time to stand!
Time to counteract the crime which seems to hold our country at ransom.
Time to unite in numbers, time to replace the negativity with positivity.
Time to join forces with visionaries like Justice Defenders, time to save our country.
Time to stand together against crime and violence.
Time to end the silence!
Another one has committed a crime this morning,
A brother has been sentenced this evening.
My sister has been committed to the High Court,
Mothers and fathers are stressing.
Crimes continue to escalate.
Stop! Before you decide to stand or not walk in the shoes of those who suffer.
How would you feel if you lost your daughter?
How would you feel if someone endangered the life of your sister?
How would you feel if someone brutalises your brother or father?
How would you feel if it all happened before your eyes?
I ask again how would you feel if it all happened before your eyes?
Let us stand united as one,
With the theme “Reducing crime through legal knowledge.”
Let us stand regardless of political affiliation.
Let us stand as we exceed our very own limitations.
Let us combat the negativity that flows like a river within our country.
Let us replace the hate with love, let us rebuild our country.
Justice Defenders is taking a stand.
Extending its resources to reduce crimes through legal knowledge.
Friends and family, we must stand together as one.
Supporters of this poetry, supporters of a better Uganda we must stand together as one.
Friends the time is now for a joint effort, please I beg you!
Together as one, we can reduce crimes in our societies!
- Alex Byamukama.