Covid-19: Uganda Lawyers Launch Self-Help Emergency Relief Fund

A section of Ugandan advocates led by Counsel Isaac Ssemakadde the Executive Director of Legal Brains Trust has launched a campaign to collect relief fund for lawyers who are struggling and yet they have no one to run or turn to amidst Covid-19 unprecedented times.

In a statement this website has landed on, Counsel Ssemakadde states that a taskforce has been created at the national level to coordinate the distribution of food and essential items to the most vulnerable in communities however, in due course, reports indicate that lawyers are excluded by the set criteria.

“Many lawyers are struggling during this time, and yet they have no one to run or turn to.
Therefore, Adv Isaac Ssemakadde, Executive Director of Legal Brains Trust, has taken the
first step to contribute UGX 1,000,000/= (Uganda Shillings One Million Only) towards
the establishment of an emergency relief fund for lawyers. Adv. Assumpta Kemigisha Ssebunya of Ssebunya & Turyagenda Advocates has also contributed UGX 1,000,000/= (Uganda Shillings One Million Only) and has accepted to provide leadership and guidance to this noble effort, in conjunction with a committee of like-minded members that understand the call to look within us and be each other’s keeper. However, there are many others amongst us who have the money, time, and gifts as well as
the courage and kindness to support this initiative,” Part of the statement reads.

Below is a full statement

LAUNCH OF EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND FOR LAWYERS

Dear Members of the Uganda Law Society,

We are in the midst of unprecedented times.

On Tuesday, 14 April 2020, the President of the Republic of Uganda extended the
Coronavirus/Covid-19 prevention and control ‘lock-down’ measures for a further 21 days
until 5 May 2020, subject to the success of these welcome efforts to combat the pandemic.

Unfortunately, reports across membership forums confirm what we already knew – this
pandemic is hitting young lawyers the hardest. It is therefore imperative to acknowledge
and attend to the health, mental and economic tolls this crisis is having on the foot soldiers
of our legal system, and any other member in hardship during this period.

Although a taskforce was created at the national level to coordinate the distribution of food
and essential items to the most vulnerable in our communities, reports indicate that
lawyers are excluded by the set criteria.

Many lawyers are struggling during this time, and yet they have no one to run or turn to.
Therefore, Adv Isaac Ssemakadde, Executive Director of Legal Brains Trust, has taken the
first step to contribute UGX 1,000,000/= (Uganda Shillings One Million Only) towards
the establishment of an emergency relief fund for lawyers.

Adv. Assumpta Kemigisha Ssebunya of Ssebunya & Turyagenda Advocates has also
contributed UGX 1,000,000/= (Uganda Shillings One Million Only) and has accepted to
provide leadership and guidance to this noble effort, in conjunction with a committee of
like-minded members that understand the call to look within us and be each other’s keeper.

However, there are many others amongst us who have the money, time, and gifts as well as
the courage and kindness to support this initiative.

How can we help each other?
To this effect, a Goodwill Committee has been set up to work urgently on fundraising and
deliver a package of measures to assist lawyers most in need. The Committee is made up of the following:

How can you donate?
For effective management and accountability, cash donations will be centralised to two
telephone lines – belonging to the chairperson. Please send your contributions via mobile
money to Adv. Sylvia Namawejje Ebitu on 0700 305 059 (Airtel) or 0772 364 114
(MTN).
In-kind contributions too are welcome. Nothing is too small. It is the gesture that
counts. Donors will advise the chairperson on publicity restrictions and other attendant
conditionalities.
How will funds and other gifts be distributed?
Disbursements not exceeding UGX 500,000 (Uganda Shillings Five Hundred Thousand
Only) shall be instantly remitted to the cell phone of an eligible beneficiary, and one can
only benefit once. The Committee will decide how much to avail to each person, bearing in
mind the size of the trust fund, the cost of living in the respective regions, and the
principles of equity, equality and non-discrimination. Recipients should take a screenshot
of the mobile money message acknowledging receipt of funds.
The Committee shall keep all requests and disbursements strictly confidential.
Do I qualify and how can I access the fund?
The only requirement is your ULS identity card and badge of honour. We expect eligible
members to exercise individual integrity and request assistance only when in need. If you
need relief from the health, mental and economic tolls of the current crisis, please
WhatsApp your regional representative on the telephone number hereby provided.
Remember to include a copy of your ULS ID.
Arrangements are underway to retain an expert psychiatrist and other counsellors.
Do not suffer in silence.

Leave A Reply